Foothill Gold Line - November/December 2018 Update
In November, the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority announced a proposed plan to deliver nearly 70% of the Foothill Gold Line light rail extension from Glendora to Montclair at least two years ahead of schedule and avoid tens of millions of dollars annually in market escalation and risk money; while increasing the budget for the 12.3-mile, six station light rail project by $570 million to a total project budget of $2.1 billion. The proposed plan is subject to environmental approval (see details below).
The need for the proposed plan follows receipt of bids by the four teams competing for the design-build contract. All four bids reflected a significant unfavorable shift in market conditions since the agency completed the project estimate two years ago. When added with current unknowns and risk within the construction industry locally and nationally, these factors resulted in bids for the long-term construction project coming in hundreds of millions of dollars over the project estimate and secured funding available.
In response, the Construction Authority is proposing to revise project construction to deliver the first eight miles of the 12.3-mile light rail extension (including delivery of the Glendora, San Dimas and La Verne stations) in 2024 - at least two years ahead of the original schedule; while working to secure the additional funding necessary to complete the project to Montclair by 2028 within the ongoing procurement.
While we understand that the delay in completing the entire project is a significant hardship, especially for the cities of Pomona, Claremont and Montclair, the anticipated benefits of this proposed plan, if approved, include:
- Completion of the majority of the Glendora to Montclair light rail extension at least two years ahead of the original schedule, including: delivery of 80% of the freight system relocation, 72% of the structures, 65% of the grade crossings, and three new light rail stations.
- Saving tens of millions of dollars annually in escalation being charged at historically high market rates, by eliminating years off the original construction schedule.
- Isolating costs associated with building the vastly more complicated and risk-burdened eastern portion of the project that shares a corridor with Metrolink.
- Providing the Construction Authority flexibility for procuring the eastern portion of the project to ensure the best price.
The Construction Authority is committed and diligently working with elected offices, the six corridor cities and partner agencies to identify the additional funding needed to complete the project to Montclair.
LA Metro CEO Phil Washington expressed his support following the announcement of the proposed plan:
“The Metro team is committed to working closely with the Construction Authority to identify funding opportunities to build out the full project. Not only is this project a key component of enhancing mobility in the San Gabriel Valley, but also a significant project to have in place in time for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
SUPPLEMENTAL IMPACT REPORT AND SCHEDULE UPDATE
In order to prepare the required Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR) to understand any potential impacts associated with the La Verne Station becoming a possible interim terminus if full funding is not secured in time to build to Montclair during the current procurement, it is expected that any award of the design-build contract would be delayed by six months, until July 2019. The SEIR process will begin in early December 2018 and include a scoping meeting. Anyone interested in staying updated on this process should sign-up on the Construction Authority’s website for project updates.
To learn more about the Foothill Gold Line and sign up for project updates, visit: www.foothillgoldline.org.