Published : Thursday, November 15, 2018 | 6:04 PM
Metro plans to construct either an overpass or underpass at the intersection of California Blvd. and the Gold Line in west Pasadena, one of 34 mobility improvement projects which Metro’s Ad Hoc Congestion, Highway and Roads Committee unanimously approved Wednesday to finally respond to calls for alternative projects after Metro’s Board of Directors dropped the I-710 Freeway extension project.
The ad hoc committee released a list of proposed projects that total $514.4 million during the meeting Wednesday.
The list includes a recommendation to “grade-separate” the at-grade Gold Line crossing at California Blvd., a few blocks south of the Gold Line’s Del Mar Station. The project will cost $105 million and is the most expensive among the 34 alternative projects.
In engineering, to grade-separate means to realign a junction of two or more surface transport axes at different grades – or levels – so traffic need not be disrupted.
“This segment of the Gold Line intersects California Boulevard, an east-west arterial street with high traffic volumes, resulting in substantial delay and congestion,” Metro said in an agenda report at Wednesday’s meeting. “This at-grade crossing also contributes to a lack of pedestrian and bicycle connectivity between neighborhoods east and west of the Gold Line. This project has a nexus to the I-710 North project since this at-grade crossing is in close proximity to the I-710 ‘Gap’ and grade-separating California Boulevard at the Gold Line will greatly improve traffic flow not only in the east-west direction but also in the north-south direction.”
The committee’s list of 34 projects will be deliberated and voted on by the Metro board during its meeting in December.
The list also includes two projects in South Pasadena, such as upgraded traffic control measures and interchange modifications on Fair Oaks Avenue, that will cost a total of $48 million.
A few other projects in the list directly impact traffic improvement options in the City of Pasadena as well as in Alhambra.
Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek said he was delighted by the development, according to a San Gabriel Valley Tribune report. The intersection has been “the bane of our existence from the day the Gold Line opened,” the Tribune quotes Tornek as saying.
The 34 projects will be funded from Measure R, which allocates a 0.5-cent transportation sales tax to road, rail and other transportation projects. Measure R was approved by voters in 2008.
The ad hoc committee indicated the list was the result of consultations with affected jurisdictions – including Pasadena – after the I-710 Freeway extension project was terminated.