The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority board of directors on September 27 unanimously voted to award a $2.6 million Utility Relocation design-bid-build contract to Long Beach, CA-based W.A. Rasic Construction Company, Inc. for utility relocation work. This is the first of two contacts to be awarded for the estimated $1.476 billion Foothill Gold Line light Glendora to Montclair rail project in Southern California.

Over the next three years, W.A. Rasic Construction will protect and relocate strategic utilities throughout the alignment; each identified to benefit the future work of the main alignment design-build contractor. The Construction Authority received five bids for the Utility Relocation design-bid-build contract and W.A. Rasic was the lowest price, responsive bidder. 

The Foothill Gold Line from Glendora to Montclair will extend the Metro Gold Line 12.3 miles and add stations in the Los Angeles County cities of Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont, and Montclair. As with the Pasadena to Azusa segment, previous segment of the Gold Line project, the extension from Glendora to Montclair is planned to be built along the former Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (ATSF) right-of-way, which was purchased by Metro in the early 1990s for the project.

The Construction Authority says that its stakeholders can expect "minimal construction impacts" during this phase of initial work.

The Alignment design-build contract will begin procurement this November and is anticipated for award in late 2018. Major construction will begin in 2020, and completion is expected in 2026. An official groundbreaking ceremony for the project will be held on December 2. The first year of the project will be used to relocate utilities, conduct other pre-construction activities, and to hire a design-build contractor.

The Construction Authority board also voted this week to support a LA Metro Board motion to begin a 60-day study of the benefits and impacts of eliminating the existing Claremont Metrolink Station. The timing of this study is important, as the Foothill Gold Line project from Glendora to Montclair includes demolishing and replacing the Claremont Metrolink station as part of the project.

Because the Claremont Metrolink Station is located unusually close to the two nearest stations (1.2 miles from the Montclair Metrolink Station and 2.1 miles from the Pomona North Metrolink Station), Metro says that eliminating it could have operational benefits for Metrolink and the Foothill Gold Line project. 

The timing of the study is critical because if changes are recommended as a result of the study, they would need to be incorporated into the current design plans for the Glendora to Montclair project in time to be part of the package short-listed design-build teams bid on in early Spring 2018. Project changes coming much later would be considered a change order and cost the project to incorporate. 

The Gold Line's previous rail project was the 11.5-mile, six-station Pasadena to Azusa segment, which broke ground in 2010 and began passenger service in March, 2016.