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Public weighs in on dueling plans for Gold Line's Eastside expansion

File: A Gold Line train car at Metro's Monrovia rail yard.
File: A Gold Line train car at Metro's Monrovia rail yard.
L.A. Metro

The Gold Line just debuted six new stations as part of the Foothill Extension plan, but Metro's also working to expand the line for L.A.'s Eastside. Metro is holding series of community meetings this week for the public to weigh in on two different routes proposed for the plan: one along Washington Boulevard and another along State Route 60.

Feedback from a meeting on Monday night in Whittier showed "strong support" for the Washington Boulevard option, according to Eugene Kim, deputy executive officer at Metro, who oversees Measure R projects. He also said people were enthusiastic about Metro serving the Citadel Outlets in Commerce.

A total of $1.27 billion in Measure R funding is allocated to Metro's Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2 project, which is set to add stops to connect communities east of L.A, Kim said. The grand opening for the project is in the long-term plans — opening day is scheduled for 2035.

In the Washington Boulevard plan, the Gold Line would travel through unincorporated East L.A., Commerce, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier. The State Route 60 option has the Gold Line traveling directly parallel to the freeway through Monterey Park and South El Monte.

This map shows the potential routes along Washington Boulevard and State Route 60 for the Eastside extension of the Gold Line.
This map shows the potential routes along Washington Boulevard and State Route 60 for the Eastside extension of the Gold Line.
L.A. Metro

“We expect to get a very well-rounded and diverse set of stakeholders, and members of the public that come to our meetings,” Kim said.

Kim said the meetings will provide updates on the investigation and design of the Route 60 and Washington Boulevard plans. The study to refine the plans for both options has been in the works since 2014, according to Metro's website

Kim said that a previous design of the Washington Boulevard option included a section of Garfield Avenue, but the aerial concept for the design caused concern and the board asked for it tp be removed from the plans.

“There were a lot of comments from the community about the visual and community impacts of a very large aerial structure along that segment,” Kim said.

Another meeting was held on Tuesday in East Los Angeles, and two more will follow Wednesday and Thursday in Montebello and South El Monte. Kim said that Metro wants to hear from east L.A. voices, along with those from its neighboring communities during these meetings.

Remaining meeting schedule: