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Construction starts on Pasadena to Azusa light-rail Gold Line

April 4, 2012 | 11:38 am

Construction starts on Pasadena to Azusa light-rail Gold Line

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority has begun construction of the roughly 11.5-mile Pasadena to Azusa light-rail line, officials announced.

Building the $735-million project had been stalled since at least July while officials worked to clear two funding hurdles.

The first was cleared in February when Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway turned over its rail right-of-way west of Irwindale, according to a news release from the agency. The second was when they gained control last month of more than 50% of the land needed for a maintenance yard.

The "action gives the contractor the go-ahead to complete the entire project, and keeps us on schedule for construction completion in 2015," said Habib F. Balian, the authority's chief executive officer.

"It took a significant effort to overcome these two funding conditions," he said.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who also serves on the metropolitan transportation authority board, said Tuesday "it's full speed ahead" for the Gold Line to Azusa.

"Work now begins on the next phase, which will be extending the Gold Line from Azusa to Claremont," Antonovich said.

"San Bernardino County is also currently developing the plan to connect the Gold Line to Ontario Airport, and integrate this regional airport into our rail transportation system."


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Photo: Construction on the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension has started to extend the line roughly 11.5 miles from Pasadena to Azusa. The Eastside extension, pictured above, opened in November 2009. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times