The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority (also known as the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority) is an independent transportation planning, design and construction agency created in 1998 by the California State Legislature, SB 1847 (later updated in 2011-AB706 and 2012-AB1600). The agency was created to immediately resume design, contracting and construction of the Los Angeles to Pasadena Metro Gold Line (formerly the Pasadena Blue Line) which had been suspended by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) earlier that same year.
The newly formed Construction Authority completed the Los Angeles to Pasadena segment in just under three years, and the 13.7-mile line opened in 2003 on time and under budget.
The same legislation that created the Construction Authority also dictated its role to plan and construct any “fixed mass transit guide way eastward to Claremont.” The planning for the line was later extended to terminate at Montclair’s Transcenter, a regional transit hub for numerous bus and rail operations serving San Bernardino County and the Inland Empire.
Once construction is complete, the Construction Authority transfers the project to Metro to operate. This relationship is formalized in a Master Cooperative Agreement approved by both agencies’ boards of directors. The current Master Cooperative Agreement, signed in July 2010, manages the relationship for planning and construction of the next two segments of the Foothill Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa and Glendora to Montclair.
The Los Angeles to Pasadena segment was funded through Propositions A and C (state and local funding). These funds were already in place when the Construction Authority was established and took over construction of the project in 1998.
The Foothill Gold Line segments (Pasadena to Azusa & Glendora to Montclair) are estimated to cost approximately $2 billion.
In 2010, the boards of directors for the Construction Authority and Metro approved the Funding and Master Cooperative Agreements between the two agencies. This was a significant milestone for the project – laying out the framework and mechanisms for $810 million from Los Angeles County’s Measure R half-cent sales tax to be allocated to the project between 2010 and 2019, and also formalizing the roles and responsibilities of both agencies during design and construction of the project.
The majority of the $810 million was used to design, build and purchase equipment to operate the Foothill Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa; however the residual funding not used is now being used to ready the segment from Glendora to Montclair for construction.
In 2017, the Construction Authority completed an updated project estimate for building the Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Montclair. The updated estimate was based on the draft advanced conceptual engineering (completed in September 2016) and subsequent constructability reviews that incorporated several constraints on construction by Metrolink and corridor cities. The reviews concluded the project would likely be built in two major construction phases – first the relocation/rebuilding of the freight and Metrolink tracks and Claremont Metrolink station and then construction of the light rail system.
The detailed constructability reviews also concluded that the project will likely take an additional two years to build than assumed in preliminary estimates for the project completed earlier in the planning process. The additional construction time is due to the complicated nature of the work ahead and the fact that the project is really two projects in one, adding costs associated with the extended timeline of construction and new prevailing and minimum wage increases that will take effect during the construction period. With this more detailed understanding of the project, the project estimate was updated in January 2017 to $1.374 billion ($1.3 billion in Los Angeles County and $70 million to extend the line from Claremont to Montclair) from the earlier estimate of $1.216 billion.
The project is being built in Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties and will be funded locally. It is anticipated that the majority of the funds needed to complete the Los Angeles County portion will come from the Los Angeles County Traffic Improvement Plan (Measure M), a half-cent sales tax measure approved by Los Angeles County voters in November 2016 that takes effect July 1, 2017. San Bernardino County has not identified where their portion of the project funding will come from and the Construction Authority is working with the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority to identify the funding needed to extend the line from Claremont (in Los Angeles County) to Montclair (in San Bernardino County). For more information on funding the Glendora to Montclair segment, click here.
Click here to view the final Funding and Master Cooperative Agreement Term Sheets.
The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Foothill Gold Line) is governed by an eight-member Board of Directors. In addition, cities from South Pasadena to Ontario are represented on two additional boards to the Construction Authority--the Joint Powers Authority (comprised of elected official representatives appointed by each corridor city) and Technical Advisory Committee (comprised of city managers or their staff appointees).