Nov 1, 2010

Pasadena Star-News – Metro to sell bonds, front funds for Foothill Extension Phase 2A

Following approval from Metro last month to issue bonds on anticipated Measure R revenues, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension will no longer need to finance Phase 2A of the project.

Previously, payments were scheduled to be spread out in fixed amounts over a nine-year period (between 2010 and 2019), and the Authority planned to fund upfront costs with a design-build-finance contract.

But according to Authority officials, senior staff at Metro recently informed them that the bonds would provide adequate funding for the Foothill Extension Phase 2A project as soon as the project requires them.

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority's Board of Directors updated its financial plan last week to reflect the changes.

Habib F. Balian, CEO of the Authority, said last week in a statement that this change "is significant, as it means that we will not need to finance the project through our design-builder, likely saving the project tens of millions of dollars and allowing the project to proceed in the most efficient way possible."

Proposals are due in January for the $450+ million design-build contract to complete the 11.5-mile Phase 2A alignment work (consisting of the track, stations, crossings, bridges, utilities, and more).

The project's first design-build contract was awarded in June 2010 to Skanska USA. The $18.5 million contract is to complete design and construction for the 584-linear foot bridge over the eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway near Santa Anita Avenue. Final design work is under way, and construction is anticipated to begin in the spring.