La Verne Looks to ‘Bridge the Gap’ Between its Community and the Fairplex
September 22, 2021
LA VERNE, CA – As residents readjust to the Los Angeles region’s notorious commutes and events and other activities return to the area, the City of La Verne is continuing to work toward a solution that will enable a safer and more convenient way for community members and L Line (Gold Line) passengers to move between the light rail station, the Fairplex and other future developments in the area. A bridge above busy arterial Arrow Highway would allow pedestrians and bicyclists to avoid having to cross six lanes of traffic and the Metrolink rail crossing, which also benefits vehicular traffic by helping to decrease delays caused by crowds of people or related traffic incidents.
The City engaged the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGV COG) to help design and construct the bridge, who is working with engineering and design firm KPFF. The bridge design presented to the La Verne City Council prioritized both function and aesthetics that descends into the Fairplex. The proposed 17-foot-wide bridge would allow those moving east or westbound to utilize the bridge with ease and would be accessible to those with disabilities.
“Our main goal with this project is to ensure that La Verne residents and visitors to our community have a safe path of travel in this already busy area,” said Tim Hepburn. “The La Verne community is growing and, in addition to the bridge assisting with the increased foot traffic that will result from the future L Line station, it will help create a more unified and connected region among the Old Town La Verne Specific Plan area, related Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District, the light rail station and the Fairplex.”
While the cost of the bridge including the utility undergrounding-associated costs, is anticipated to be approximately $14.7 million, the City of La Verne, with the help of SGV COG, is working to secure funding from a variety of sources. This includes pursuing a combination of funding from the State’s Active Transportation Program, the City’s Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District, LA Metro’s Measure M and federal dollars. The city hopes to have confirmation in the coming months on the amount of external funds that have been secured.
Since January 2021 the City has worked with various stakeholders, including Southern California Edison, University of La Verne, Fairplex, City of Pomona, Foothill Gold Line and public safety officials, in order to design the most effective and beneficial bridge for the community. Additionally, the City held several workshops with these stakeholders to understand their concerns and priorities. From these discussions, KPFF crafted the initial design of the pedestrian bridge which was presented to the City Council during an adjourned study session in August 2021. Based on the Council’s initial feedback and additional collaboration with stakeholders, the bridge design is being updated and will be brought back to a future La Verne City Council meeting.
After the bridge design is finalized and appropriately vetted by the La Verne City Council, the City will put the project construction out to bid with SGV COG serving as the construction management team based on their experience and expertise. It is estimated that the project will take two years to construct and could start as early as 2023.
Contact: Bob Russi, City Manager
Telephone: (909) 596-8726