Foothill Gold Line E-News

November 2018


Construction Authority Announces Proposed Plan to Deliver Majority of Foothill Gold Line Light Rail Project Two Years Ahead of Schedule

Proposed Plan Responds to Unfavorable Economic Conditions Impacting Bid Prices

The Construction Authority announced a proposed plan this week 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 proposed by the four design-build teams competing for the Glendora to Montclair Alignment contract; 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.

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 (see story below about economic conditions impacting the project).

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, 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, including the potential to complete the extension to Montclair as part of the ongoing procurement and the opportunity to re-procure it separately if market conditions improve.

Importantly, the proposed plan can be delivered within the currently ongoing procurement and merely shifts the contract option included in the Alignment Contract to La Verne; thus continuing to allow the full project to Montclair to be delivered within the ongoing procurement if funding is secured within two years of contract award. The Construction Authority is requesting revised bids that separate the price to build the full project to Montclair, as well as a price to build the first eight miles to La Verne.

In order to conduct the necessary environmental review associated with the La Verne Station becoming a possible interim terminus if full funding is not secured in time to build to Montclair during this contract, it is expected that any award of the design-build contract would be delayed by six months, until July 2019.

Have questions about the proposed plan? Send us an email.


LA Metro CEO Phil Washington’s Comments on the Proposed Plan

Following the announcement of the proposed plan discussed above, the Construction Authority received the following supportive comment from Phil Washington, CEO of LA Metro:

“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.”


Economic Report Outlines Conditions Impacting Foothill Gold Line

Ken Simonson, Chief Economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, provided the Construction Authority a white paper earlier this week on economic conditions impacting the Foothill Gold Line light rail project. In his paper, Mr. Simonson outlines three main factors which have shifted unfavorably in the national and regional construction market as well as the overall economy since 2016, when the project estimate was completed: (1) construction activity overall and in the rail sector specifically has intensified with no sign of reduction, (2) available skilled labor is at historic lows and wages and labor costs are increasing in response, and (3) prices have increased in the double-digits for construction materials due in part to unknowns related to tariffs and other trade policies impacting pricing both domestically and internationally.

Importantly, Mr. Simonson anticipates these cost pressures to continue. Looking ahead to the next few years, labor supply will be constrained by rising retirements and flat or declining numbers of new labor market entrants, and materials costs are likely to go higher.

Want to read more? Here is a link to Mr. Simonson’s letter and white paper.


Upcoming Community Events Hosted by LA Metro (not the Foothill Gold Line): Gold Line First/Last Mile Public Workshops

Note: These events are being hosted by LA Metro and the cities from Glendora to Claremont, not the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority.

Foothill Gold Line staff will be hosting a booth at these events to answer questions about the Foothill Gold Line project.

For more information or questions about these events, contact the LA Metro First/Last Mile Team at firstlastmile@metro.net or visit https://www.metro.net/projects/first-last/.

As a follow-up to the Community Walk Audits that took place in September, Metro and the cities of Glendora, San Dimas, Pomona and Claremont invite you to join them for a series of First/Last Mile Public Workshops over the next few weeks to explore how to help you walk and bike to the future Gold Line stations.

In each Public Workshop, LA Metro will present their initial ideas for improving station access and listen to your feedback and ideas.

Below is a list of the meeting dates and locations.

  • (TONIGHT) Thursday 11/15 (6-8pm) Claremont Station Workshop – Hughes Center, Padua Room, 1700 Danbury Road, Claremont, CA 91711
  • Monday 11/26 (6-8pm) Glendora Station Workshop – Glendora Library, 140 Glendora Ave., Glendora, CA 91741
  • Tuesday 11/27 (6-8pm) Pomona Station Workshop – Palomares Park, 499 E Arrow Highway, Pomona, CA 91767
  • Monday 12/10 (7-9pm) San Dimas Station Workshop – San Dimas Community Center, 201 E Bonita Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773

Join Us! Foothill Gold Line Booth at Friday’s Glendora Village Holiday Stroll

The Foothill Gold Line will be participating in the annual Glendora Village Holiday Stroll, taking place TOMORROW, Friday, November 16 from 6 PM to 9 PM at the Glendora Village.

Stop by the Foothill Gold Line booth (we will be on the west side of Glendora Ave, just north of Foothill Blvd) to learn the latest on the Glendora to Montclair project. Click here for more information on the event.

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