The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority on Saturday celebrated the completion of substantial construction work on a new extension of the light rail track system, which pushes eastward 9.1 miles from Glendora to Pomona, connecting four cities.
Marking the occasion with a Track Completion Ceremony, the installation of the 230,630th rail clip signaled the end of significant construction, creating a permanent connection for Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, and Pomona through the new light rail line.
The project, now 72% complete, saw substantial construction activities commencing in July 2020, including work on 19 new or renovated bridges, 21 at-grade railroad crossings, and four new stations. With testing set to start by the year-end, the project is expected to finish by early-January 2025.
The ceremony also featured the unveiling of an inscribed commemorative boulder at the D Street railroad crossing, near the University of La Verne.
Regional leaders from the San Gabriel Valley attended the celebration, including Foothill Gold Line Board Chairman and Claremont Mayor Ed Reece.
“It is an historic and symbolic day for the Foothill Gold Line project and our corridor cities. This completion marks the imminent arrival of a better and brighter transportation future for these foothill communities, the San Gabriel Valley and Greater Los Angeles,” Reece said.
High-profile attendees, including officials from Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), transportation leaders, and regional stakeholders, shared their enthusiasm for the project’s progress.
Among the speakers were U.S. Representatives Grace Napolitano and Judy Chu, California State Senator Susan Rubio, and Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins.
Habib F. Balian, CEO of Construction Authority, highlighted the project’s challenges and triumphs.
“Building the new light rail track system was a significant undertaking, especially since we started with an active freight track in the middle of the now-shared corridor,” Balian said. “Today we celebrate one major step closer to completing this important infrastructure project for our region.”
Stephanie Wiggins, CEO of Metro, expressed the agency’s commitment to the project. “The Foothill Extension will be the first light rail project funded by Measure M to be delivered to L.A. County residents,” Wiggins said. “This project is our number one priority for the next round of state Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) funding.”
The Foothill Gold Line was the first to break ground among Metro’s Measure M-funded light rail projects.
Ara J. Najarian, Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair, noted, “With our recent opening of the Regional Connector Project that combined the A Line and the L Line, we now have the nation’s longest rail line, which will continue to expand another nine miles to better serve our rail customers in the San Gabriel Valley and beyond.”