At long last, proponents of building the Foothill Extension to the Gold Line light rail train for 11.4 miles from the Sierra Madre Villa station in east Pasadena through Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale, and to Asuza had something to celebrate on Nov. 21 (see video highlights below).
Congressman David Dreier was one of several hundred who turned out to trumpet the recent approval by the MTA board of $851 million from the Measure R Los Angeles County transportation 1/2-cent sales tax approved by voters in November 2008 to start construction on Phase 2A of the project as early as next June 2010 with a target completion date by 2013. The intention is to eventually continue the line another 12.5 miles to the County border in Montclair and then on to the L.A./Ontario airport in San Bernardino County.
Train tracks will once again cross over the 210 frwy eastbound lanes right before Santa Anita Ave. offramp, this time carrying the Gold Line light rail.
Work is expected to begin soon on construction of the Gold Line Foothill Extension rail bridge from the middle of the 210 freeway over the eastbound lanes just west of the Santa Anita Ave. eastbound exit ramp (replacing the one torn down a few years ago).
Arcadia city engineer Phil Wray, Deputy Director of Development Services, recently described the plans for the Arcadia portion of the Gold Line Foothill Extension to a special committee of the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce board of directors. The trains will run on double-tracks covering 1.2 miles through Arcadia, over two freestanding bridges, the first of which will be a new one to pass over Santa Anita Ave. just south of Colorado Blvd. and north of St. Joseph St. A bond measure to pay for that bridge was handily approved by more than 70% of Arcadia voters in 2006. Santa Anita Avenue will be leveled where it currently rises as a hump at the track crossing near the In-n-Out restaurant and Fasching’s Car Wash at Colorado Blvd.
Construction phase of Gold Line in San Gabriel Valley from down to L.A. Ontario airport.
In order to keep the tracks high enough to cross over Santa Anita Ave. and accommodate the second set of tracks, a berm, retaining wall and sound wall will need to be built. Some trees will need to be removed at Newcastle Park, which is located about two blocks west of Santa Anita Ave. between the current tracks and the northside of Colorado Blvd. The area will be landscaped.
The tracks will then come back down to street/grade level and cross First Avenue at the existing track crossing at Santa Clara Ave. near the 24 Hour Fitness, and then rise to cross Second Avenue on the longstanding bridge at Huntington Dr. and continue on the current rail path heading southeast to the eastern city border at Fifth Avenue.
A few trees will also be removed from Bonita Park where the tracks run across the norther border south of Huntington Dr. and east of Second Ave.
An Arcadia rail station, perhaps looking something like the one in the drawing below on the video (or perhaps not), will be immediately east of First Avenue and consist of passenger boarding/waiting platforms on both sides of the track (north/south).
A two-level parking structure, expandable to 4-levels, will be built in purple area, with triangular landscaped walk area on eastside. Gold Line station platforms on north and south side of tracks at right, with pedestrian walkways from station to parking.
A parking garage for the station will be built a few yards west of the northwest corner of the First Avenue intersection across the street from 24 Hour Fitness, north of Santa Clara. A new landscaped walking area will be created in a triangle between the tracks and the street. Front Street will be permanently closed to accommodate the new parking structure.
Another view of layout of station platforms on right and parking structure on left.
The car garage will initially have a capacity of 800 vehicles — comparable to the Sierra Madre Villa station parking structure which has a capacity of 800-1,000 vehicles — on the ground level and a second level. But it is being designed to eventually rise as many as three levels without retrofitting if and when the demand for more spaces is required.
A pedestrian walkway, with gates that will close with the street crossing gates, will be created to cross the west side of Santa Clara (near 24 Hour Fitness) and to cross First Avenue on the south side of Santa Clara.
See highlights of the Nov. 21 ceremony and the Monrovia station that is due for an upgrade in this 100-second video: — Scott Hettrick
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