This Wednesday, Aviv Kleinman and Damien Newton of Streetsblog joined a behind-the-scenes tour of the Gold Line Foothill Extension under construction in the San Gabriel Valley. We joined Albert Ho, head of Media Relations for the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority, and Jeff Rowland, the Community Relations Manager for the Kiewit-Parsons Joint Venture, the constructors of the project.
Jeff Rowland, the Community Relations Manager for the Kiewit-Parsons Joint Venture, knows just about everything there is to know about the Gold Line extension, and railroad construction in general. I made sure to pick his brain with many questions throughout the day, and he was able to answer them all with facts and figures.
It was the most comprehensive tour we could have ever imagined, and we had a long and great day on the tour. We toured the future Maintenance and Operations (M&O) facility, the flyover bridge that crosses the 210 Freeway, and many future stations and sections of track alignment. We’re splitting tour coverage into four separate posts: The first about the line in general, the second about the maintenance yard, the third about the iconic bridge, and the fourth about Transit-Oriented-Development built and planned around the line.
The Metro Gold Line is a 19.7 mile light rail line running from East Los Angeles to Pasadena via Union Station in Downtown L.A. The line’s first phase entered service in 2003, serving 21 stations. The line’s third phase, the Foothill Extension, will extend from its current terminus in East Pasadena, at Sierra Madre Villa to Azusa, serving another 6 stations over the course of 11.3 miles. The extension will serve five cities directly, and it is proposed to transform transportation and development patterns in the San Gabriel Valley. Once bounded by the distress of being caught in freeway gridlock, San Gabriel Valley residents will now have the freedom to commute by Metro rail into Downtown LA and endless locations from there by using the new Gold Line extension.
In this first installment of the series, we explore the stations, track alignment, and construction machinery and processes. Photos and renderings will be displayed in that order.
Rowland explained that in the initial phase of the Gold Line construction between L.A. and Pasadena, Metro asked each municipality that would host a station to design their own ‘personalized’ station that would be an art piece portraying a theme of the municipality’s choice. Art is great, but, according to Rowland, art the size of a train station is pricey. At the price tag of $25 million each, the current stations are marvelous and magnificent, but their costs were just too high for the second phase of the line.
For the current Foothill Extension phase, each station was designed with a “cookie-cutter” design, which, at only $5 million each, left a hefty budget for constructing peripherals around each station, such as large park-and-ride facilities. There is a smaller budget set aside for some personalized art pieces at each station, but the ‘cookie-cutter’ design was much more efficient. And, according to Streetsblog’s beloved Damien Newton, “Who doesn’t love cookies?”
In this photo essay, we will explore the Foothill Gold Line’s magnificent Maintenance and Operations (M&O) Facility, currently under construction in Monrovia. Earlier this week, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton and Aviv Kleinman joined a behind-the-scenes tour of the Gold Line Phase II under construction in the San Gabriel Valley. We joined Albert Ho, head of Media Relations for the Metro […]
In this third installment of our Foothill Gold Line photo tour series, we explore the Gold Line Foothill Extension’s iconic bridge over the 210 Freeway, as well as a closer look at the line’s other bridges. Recently, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton and Aviv Kleinman joined a behind-the-scenes tour of the Gold Line Phase II under construction in […]
In this fourth installment of the Foothill Gold Line Extension photo tour series, we explore planned Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) around some of the line’s future stations. Recently, Streetsblog’s Damien Newton and Aviv Kleinman joined a behind-the-scenes tour of the newest Gold Line Extension phase under construction in the San Gabriel Valley. We joined Albert Ho, head […]
Last Saturday, Metro extended its growing rail network, celebrating the grand opening of the 11-mile Gold Line Foothill Extension. The initial phase of the Foothill Extension includes six new stations in five San Gabriel Valley cities: Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, and Azusa. Additional future phases would extend the Gold Line to Ontario Airport. Kick-off festivities began […]
Last Saturday, Foothill communities celebrated a Track Completion Ceremony for the initial phase of the Foothill Gold Line extension. Local leaders installed the final “e-clip” which attached the rail tracks to the rail ties. Streetsblog didn’t actually make it out to Azusa for the event; find coverage at ABC, CBS, The Source, and Railway Age. The […]
Today, Metro hosted its first press preview for journalists to ride the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension. The 12-mile project includes 6 new stations. It will open on March 5th. Overall the ride was smooth. The train departed Pasadena’s Sierra Madre Station, stopped very briefly at the intermediate five stations, but did not open doors […]