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Foothill Extension Light Rail Reaches Construction Milestone

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The 11.5-mile Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail project from Pasadena to Azusa is now more than halfway to project completion, according to the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority. When completed in Sept. 2015, the nearly $1-billion project will provide six new light rail stations for Metro service. Additional construction includes intermodal parking facilities in the cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa; two dozen new and rebuilt bridge structures; 14 at-grade street crossings; 3.6-miles of relocated freight track within a shared corridor with BNSF Railway; and a 24-acre, $265-million Operations Campus to house up to 84 light rail vehicles.

Photo courtesy of Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority
Since work began in early 2012, crews have worked nearly 500,000 hours on the project without a lost-time accident.
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“We have stayed on-schedule and on-budget since we began work in 2010,” says Habib F. Balian, Construction Authority CEO, in a statement. “We still have a significant way to go to substantial completion, but the progress already made provides the confidence that we will be able to meet our schedule and deliver this regionally significant project on time and on budget.”

Three design-build contracts were awarded as part of the overall project, including a unique bridge, the main track and intermodal parking.

The $486-million Pasadena to Azusa Alignment contract is being built by Foothill Transit Constructors, a Kiewit-Parsons Joint Venture. Since work began in early 2012, crews have worked nearly 500,000 hours on the project without a lost-time accident. To date, eight at-grade street crossings, 15 bridge structures, 40% of the Operations Campus and 70% of the utility work has been completed. Construction Authority officials say the freight track between San Gabriel Ave. in Azusa and the Glendora city border has been fully realigned to its new position south of the future light rail tracks, more than half of the Overhead Catenary System foundations have been put in place and light rail track is starting to be installed.

The $18.6-million Gold Line Bridge was completed by Skanska USA in late 2012, and the project went on to win ENR California’s Best Highway/Bridge Project in Southern California.

Webcor is completing the $48.7 million Intermodal Parking and Enhancements contract. 

Upon completion, the project will be turned over to the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which will decide when passenger service is set to begin.

Meanwhile, the Construction Authority las month issued a request for proposals for engineering and NEPA support services on the estimated $950-million Azusa to Montclair Phase 2B light rail line extension. Selection is anticipated in April for firms that will advance the design and engineering to a point where it will be ready for a design-build procurement.

The alignment for the 12.3-mile east-west light rail extension generally follows the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, running along a former BNSF railroad right-of-way, continuing to the combined BNSF/Metrolink/Union Pacific railroad, paralleling Interstate 210 and terminating in the vicinity of the Montclair Metrolink Station. The project includes six new stations and associated parking facilities, 13 bridge/box culvert structures, Metrolink and light rail tracks, 28 at-grade crossings and various systems.

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