Cities prepare for work ahead; estimated to generate billions in economic output over the five-year construction phase
Friday, the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority (Construction Authority) began major construction on the 9.1-mile, four-station Foothill Gold Line light rail project from Glendora to Pomona. The project is anticipated to be completed in 2025 and will add new stations to the Metro Gold Line system (currently known as the L Line) in the cities of Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne and Pomona. If additional funding is secured by October 2021, the entire 12.3-mile project from Glendora to Montclair will be completed altogether by 2028, adding additional stations in Claremont and Montclair. The major construction work is being carried out by the Joint Venture team of Kiewit-Parsons (KPJV), who was awarded the design-build contract in August 2019. They are the same team that successfully built the first two segments of the Foothill Gold Line from Los Angeles to Pasadena and Pasadena to Azusa – both completed on time and under budget (in 2003 and 2015 respectively).
“The Construction Authority and design-build team have been hard at work for the past 10 months preparing for today’s start of major construction,” stated Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Chairman and Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval. “There is a lot of work ahead to complete this project that is critically important to the region and to the corridor communities, and we thank our partners at the cities, L.A. Metro and others for the hundreds of hours they have put in to help us reach this milestone moment for the project.”
The Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Pomona is being built within an existing rail corridor that is shared with BNSF freight service. Over the next five years, KPJV crews will relocate within the shared rail corridor more than 9 miles of freight track; install two sets of light rail tracks; build four new light rail stations with unique artwork created by city-selected station artists; rebuild 21 at-grade street crossings where trains will cross at street level; build or renovate 19 bridge structures; relocate underground utilities; install new communications systems; and install nine traction power supply substations, along with an overhead catenary system, to power the electric light rail trains.
“Even as we confront the immediate and unprecedented challenge of COVID-19, we remain laser-focused on making smart investments in our infrastructure, our workforce, and our lasting prosperity,” said Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Eric Garcetti. “The Foothill Extension project is a down payment on a more connected, dynamic, and equitable future for Angelenos — and it will pave the way to good-paying jobs and a stronger transportation network across our region.”
The first major construction activity began Friday with the rebuilding of the at-grade street crossing on Gladstone Street in the city of San Dimas and will require a three-month full closure of the street at the railroad crossing to vehicles and pedestrians. Residents and businesses can sign up to receive construction alerts ahead of future closures and impacts by going to foothillgoldline.org.
The Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Pomona is being funded mostly by Los Angeles County’s Measure M sales tax approved by voters in 2016, with residual funding from Measure R and State of California greenhouse gas reduction funds (part of the voter-approved SB1 program). When completed, the Foothill Gold Line will provide connections to important regional destinations like the L.A. County Fairplex, more than two dozen more colleges and universities, historic downtowns, museums, regional parks and open space areas, and much more. In addition, the extension will provide a direct link between the Metro and Metrolink systems, allowing riders from each system to easily transfer; creating endless possibilities for connections throughout the region.
It is estimated that during construction alone, the Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Montclair will create as many as 16,000 jobs and up to $2.6 billion in economic output for the region, as well as up to $1 billion in labor income and potentially $40 million in tax revenue (according to an economic study by Beacon Economics). Once completed to Montclair, the line is estimated to add more than 18,300 riders to the Metro system every day.