Foothill Gold Line Arcadia station


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Prior to 2010 the Gold Line station was planned to be built on the east side of First Avenue because it was initially believed that trains would not be able to slow down the slope fast enough and get to level ground soon enough between the overpass at Santa Anita and a station less than a block away. Engineers eventually overcame that challenge to the delight of all involved.


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Newly painted bike lanes on First Avenue at Wheeler Street — a block south of the station — to Huntington Drive.


The arrival of the Gold Line is also what sparked Beth Costanza and the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce to mobilize leaders in the surrounding Downtown Arcadia area to form the Arcadia Improvement Association business district to capitalize on the influx of people coming to/through Arcadia and boarding/unloading in the area. That has led the Thoroughbred Racing Walk of Champions plaques in the sidewalks and the launch last month of the weekly Friday night Downtown Arcadia Street Fair.

The Gold Line Extension Construction Authority was praised again for completing the nearly $1 billion project on time and under budget, which was a follow-up to their work on the initial 13.9-mile segment of the Gold Line from Downtown L.A. to East Pasadena from 1999-2003, also on time and under budget. Their work and community relations has indeed been exemplary. But before the Authority was awarded the construction project and work began in 2010, the line was supposed to have been opened in 2013, so it will be at least three years behind the initial schedule.

The final funding mechanism that triggered the green light for the entire Foothill Gold Line extension came from the Measure R half-cent County sales tax, approved by voters in November 2008 after several years of lobbying by all cities along the route and the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce and its Government Affairs Forum, led by alternating chairmen and co-chairs, Peter Ulrich, Mary Dougherty, and myself. Peter Ulrich, now in his 90s, attended the ceremony today and was pleased to see the station finally dedicated nearly a decade after his lobbying efforts.


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The first station dedication along the new route was in Duarte earlier this month. This Friday at 5 p.m. will be a similar ceremony in Irwindale (16027 Avenida Padilla), followed by ceremonies in Monrovia and Azusa.

— By Scott Hettrick

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