Local

Gold Line extension to Montclair hits another milestone

File: A new light rail vehicle for the Gold Line Foothill Extension leaves Sierra Madre Villa station headed for Azusa, which is spelled wrong on the train.
File: A new light rail vehicle for the Gold Line Foothill Extension leaves Sierra Madre Villa station headed for Azusa, which is spelled wrong on the train.
Meghan McCarty/KPCC

Metro’s eastward extension of the Gold Line into San Bernardino County took another step forward this week.

An earlier extension already took the Gold Line east from Pasadena to Azusa. The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority has been overseeing plans to add six more stops on the light rail line, taking it just past the eastern county line in Montclair.

On Thursday, the authority’s board of directors approved advanced engineering plans for the 12.3-mile extension. The engineering plans take care of a portion of the design work in order to help lower costs when the final designs are put out to bid.

In this case, 30–50 percent of the design work has already been done, according to authority CEO Habib F. Balian.

“That is the level we believe is appropriate to allow future design-build teams a good understanding of the project, so they can limit the contingency added to the bid price for unknowns; and also allows the cities and our partner agencies the detail they need to prepare for the project,” Balian said in a written statement.

The total cost of the project is estimated at about $1.2 billion. The first five stations will run to just over $1 billion, with most of the funding earmarked from Measure M, a 0.5 percent sales tax measure that will come before voters in November.

The last station, in Montclair, will require separate funding from San Bernardino County, according to the authority.

The extended line will run along the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe right-of-way. Here’s a look at the new stations:

Construction could begin as early as next year. Once completed, a trip from Montclair to downtown Pasadena is expected to take a little more than 40 minutes, or about 75 minutes to downtown L.A., according to the authority.