SOURCE: Foothill Extension Construction Authority

December 18, 2009 15:42 ET

Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Holds State of the Project

Goals Met in First Decade Set Stage for Commuter Relief

MONROVIA, CA--(Marketwire - December 18, 2009) - Today, the Foothill Extension Construction Authority held its 2009 State of the Project to commemorate 10 years of achievement and usher in its next phase of construction. Featuring a diverse coalition of local, state and federal leaders, and transportation and community advocates, the dialogue underscored the critical deadlines needed to meet the Authority's June 2010 groundbreaking schedule and the growing excitement around the project moving forward.

The San Gabriel Valley's Congressional leadership, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. David Dreier and Rep. Adam Schiff offered a collective look at the project's past decade while addressing key issues about its future. Their remarks struck a similar note: it is imperative to keep our commitment to the residents of Los Angeles and ensure that the next leg of this vital public transportation project proceeds as planned.

Rep. Schiff outlined the many accomplishments achieved by the Authority during its first decade. "The Gold Line has been very successful in getting people out of their cars, improving traffic and spurring economic development," said Schiff. "I am very excited to see that construction on the extension will begin soon, and I am committed to pushing ahead until the line reaches Ontario Airport."

Citing the enormous benefits the Foothill Extension will bring to the region, Rep. Judy Chu focused on what the Gold Line will mean to local communities. "I'm here to say to the people of the San Gabriel Valley that we heard you -- your demand for the rail line and your desire for less congestion on our freeways, less pollution in our communities and a catalyst for new jobs and economic development. This project will go a long way towards meeting the growing needs of our corridor cities, and I look forward to playing an important role in the work that lies ahead."

Ever mindful of the extraordinary collaboration it took to reach 10 years of achievement, Rep. Dreier spoke with pride and concern about progress moving forward. "I have been a strong advocate for the Foothill Extension from its inception and I'm proud to be a part of the Congressional delegation that came together to voice its support for the project. But we need to make sure that we recommit our advocacy on behalf of this important project, and keep the momentum going to fund the line to Montclair and to LA/Ontario International Airport," stated Dreier. "With unparalleled support from every level of government, we have the opportunity to create a regional transportation system befitting the 21st Century."

During a morning workshop about the project's status and schedule, Habib F. Balian, Construction Authority CEO, and Christopher Burner, Construction Authority Chief Project Officer, told attendees a crucial fund transfer agreement with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) must be finalized in January to reach the Phase 2A groundbreaking planned for June. "To meet the Authority charter and Measure R commitments to taxpayers, our mission is clear -- begin construction in June 2010," said Balian. "Today, the Authority is on the cusp of doing just that. With plans being finalized and a community waiting for increased public transit options, we are poised to complete our project to the County line and beyond."

The State of the Project also featured the first look at the project slated to break ground in June, the Iconic Freeway Structure titled The Gateway to the San Gabriel Valley. The Gateway is the bridge that will span Interstate 210 in Arcadia. A scale model of The Gateway was unveiled as artist Andrew Leicester discussed his design process and symbolism.

Researcher Michael Several presented Going for the Gold, an overview of public art featured in Phase 1 from Union Station to Pasadena. Going for the Gold is a collaborative project between USC Libraries and Several, with funding from the California Council for the Humanities' California Story Fund.

State of the Project Workshop presentations will be available later today on the Authority's web site -

About the Metro Gold Line Construction Authority

The Metro Gold Line Construction Authority is an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1999 by the California State Legislature. Its purpose is to extend the Metro Gold Line from Union Station to Montclair, enhancing the transportation experience of commuters in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. The Metro Gold Line light rail system opened in 2003, connecting downtown Los Angeles to Pasadena. Funds from Los Angeles County Measure R half-cent sales tax increase will be used for the construction of the Foothill Extension from the Sierra Madre Villa station in Pasadena to Azusa, beginning in 2010.

Contact Information