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California release environmental report on Metro Gold Line extension

23 August 2012

Gold line

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority in California, US, has released the draft environmental impact report (EIR) for its 12.3-mile Azusa to Montclair light-rail extension.

The Metro Gold Line Foothill is a 24-mile extension of the Metro Gold Line light rail system, planned in two segments; Pasadena to Azusa and Azusa to Montclair.

The Azusa to Montclair segment is currently undergoing environmental review and must be environmentally cleared before it is ready for final design and construction.

The proposed $800m light rail extension is planned to run mostly at street level through six stations, including Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair, as well as two new grade-separated crossings at Lone Hill in Glendora and Towne Avenue in Pomona.

The train runs from East Los Angeles to downtown Los Angeles and north through South Pasadena and Pasadena.

The Draft EIR estimates how the light-rail extension will impact a number of environmental conditions and proposes mitigation measures to reduce impacts where possible, but concludes that a number of impacts cannot be mitigated to a less than significant level.

"The Metro Gold Line Foothill is a 24-mile extension of the Metro Gold Line light rail system, planned in two segments; Pasadena to Azusa and Azusa to Montclair."

According to the EIR report, the environmental impacts studied include vibrations, visual aesthetics and traffic increases at three intersections where the train will cross.

The foothill section from east Pasadena to Azusa-Citrus station, which is currently under construction and expected to be completed by autumn 2015, is being funded by Los Angeles County's Measure R.

Chairman of the board of directors Doug Tessitor said that over the next few years, the authority will continue to ready the foothill extension from Azusa to Montclair.

"Clearing the project environmentally is a requirement before we can seek the funding needed to build the line," Tessitor said.

The draft EIR will be available for review by the public, who can provide feedback by the close of the comment period on 5 October 2012.

Following completion of the public review period, a final EIR will be prepared to add any comments received on the draft EIR, as well as any revisions based on those comments.


Image: The Azusa to Montclair phase of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension will run at street level through six stations, including Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair. Photo: courtesy of METRO96.