The Gold Line Construction Authority board voted Wednesday to approve a deal with Monrovia to purchase land for a maintenance facility and awarded design-build contract worth nearly $500 million to a company to construct the coming Foothill Extension.
The Monrovia City Council must still sign off on the $56 million deal the board approved to purchase city land for a needed to keep the Foothill Extension on track. The city at the earliest when it hopes to iron out .
The Monrovia deal allowed the GLCA to access Measure R funds to start construction of the Gold Line Foothill Extension, which extends the Gold Line 11.5 miles from Pasadena to Azusa. The board awarded the $486 million contract to build the light rail extension to Foothill Transit Constructors–A Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture.
Officials touted Wednesday's moves as landmark deals that will greatly improve transportation in the region.
"The mobility of this valley is going to be greatly improved," said board member John Fasana, a councilman in Duarte.
Shanna Rockenbach, the president of the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce, addressed the board and said the vote on the Monrovia deal was "vitally important to the momentum of this project."
"The business community in Monrovia and the cities along the corridor are eagerly awaiting the Gold Line's arrival as it will have a monumental impact on the future of our city and the San Gabriel Valley as a whole," Rockenbach said.
The Foothill Extension is scheduled to be completed in 2015, and securing Monrovia's land allows the GLCA to stay on schedule, according to GLCA CEO Habib Balian.
The design/build team of Kiewit Corporation and Parsons Corporation, two separate companies that have paired more than a dozen times on other infrastructure projects, turned in the lowest bid on the project, beating the competition by $72 million, according to Lisa Levy Buch, a spokeswoman for the GLCA.
The two companies worked on the first phase of the Gold Line, and Kiewit recently oversaw the demolition of the Mulholland Bridge--the cause of "Carmageddon" earlier this month, Buch said in a news release.
In addition to transportation benefits, the Foothill Extension is also expected to significantly boost job creation and the local economies along the corridor, said Christine Cooper of the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.
The LAEDC estimates that construction alone on the Foothill Extension will generate 6,900 new jobs and $930 million in additional economic activity, Cooper told the board.
"We are going to feel the impact of this particular project throughout the region," Cooper said.
Additionally, expected development along the Foothill Extension should drive even more economic growth, Cooper said.
"We expect there to be development along the stations and this development will spur further activity which we haven’t included in our study," she said.
Attorney Robert Silverstein, who represents George Brokate, a Monrovia property owner who stands to lose his property to the GLCA via eminent domain, renewed before the board voted Wednesday to pursue condemnation action against Brokate and other property owners.
"We continue to hope that we will be able to come to an accommodation with each of the property owners and that would be our desire, however we cannot agree to terms that are against the public interest," said Doug Tessitor, the chairman of the GLCA board.
Check back later for a full story on today's developments.