Metro Board approves $1.4bn for Foothill Gold Line Project extension


The board of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) in the US has approved a $1.4bn budget, along with partnership agreements, for the extension of the Metro Gold Line in the San Gabriel Valley for additional 11.5 miles east to Claremont.

The partnership agreement sets out the funding plan and states the shared roles and responsibilities between Metro and the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority, which is the agency chosen to build the extension.

Metro will fund a portion of the new segment that will run from Glendora to Claremont within Los Angeles County as part of the commitment.

The extension will be the first rail line to begin construction from a multitude of new transit projects funded by Metro’s Measure M half-cent transportation sales tax, which was initially approved by L.A. County voters in November 2016.

Metro will utilise Measure M and other local and state funds to finance the construction in accordance with the funding agreement.

It also intends to apply for a $249m grant from the state’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program to fulfil life-of-project budget requirements.

"This second phase of the Foothill Gold Line is truly significant because it’s the very first Measure M transit project out of the gate."

The company will look for other options to procure the necessary investment if the application proves unsuccessful.

The board also agreed to the transfer of an additional $26m in cost savings from the construction authority’s Gold Line segment to Azusa that opened in March last year.

Approximately $100m of residual Measure R funds will be utilised in the Foothill Gold Line project, in addition to earlier approved savings.

Metro Board chair John Fasana said: “This second phase of the Foothill Gold Line is truly significant because it’s the very first Measure M transit project out of the gate.

“It will establish the early momentum we need to launch our ambitious new traffic improvement plan that will yield tremendous transportation benefits for the entire Los Angeles County area.”

The Metro Gold Line extension is expected to provide a safe, reliable transit alternative to road transportation upon completion, and will also offer a connection with Metrolink’s San Bernardino Line.

The construction authority has already secured environmental clearance for the development and has completed advanced engineering for the entire alignment.

Work on the project is expected to commence in October, with commercial service currently scheduled to begin in 2027.