The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority has issued a “full notice to proceed” to Foothill Transit Constructors – A Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture for the $486-million Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa light-rail alignment project.

The go-ahead affords the Kiewit Parsons JV the ability to implement all aspects of the design-build contract, including design and construction of the 11.5-mi of tracks, stations, crossings, bridges, utilities and maintenance facility. The total project budget for this second phase is $735 million.

“The Authority board awarded the contract to the Kiewit Parsons team in July 2011 with a limited scope of design and pre-construction activities,” said Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian in a press release. “Today’s action gives the contractor the go-ahead to complete the entire project, and keeps us on schedule for construction completion in 2015.”

The authority said the first job of the JV will be to finalize design, obtain permits and hire subcontractors. Construction is anticipated to start in the fall.

The Pasadena-Azusa project will add stations in the cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa.

Next up on the $1.4-billion Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension project is the development of the environmental review for the Azusa to Montclair segment.