The design of a $1.5 billion extension to the Foothill Gold Line is now substantially complete, allowing for significant progress on construction, local transportation officials announced Thursday.

The extension comprises 9.1 miles and four stations from Glendora to Pomona. The design-build project was awarded to Kiewit-Parsons, a Joint Venture (KPJV) in October 2019, and the first year of the contract was spent on completing enough design to start major construction, according to the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority.

Major construction began in July 2020 and as of this month, the project is now 36% complete.

“In addition to reaching substantial completion on the design for this important project this month, the project is now more than one-third complete overall — an extraordinary achievement accomplished during extraordinary times,” said Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval, who is board chair of the Construction Authority.

“More than 300 people have been working full time on the project, including dozens of engineers that have focused on completing the design for nearly two years. Altogether, their efforts have allowed the project to move forward at an impressive pace — even as COVID-19 presented unique and unprecedented challenges,” he added.

The project is six months ahead of the completion deadline of January 2025. The design-build contract includes an option to have the KPJV team complete the entire project from Glendora to Montclair if additional funding is secured by early October 2021. If that is achieved, the entire 12.3-mile, six-station project will be completed altogether in early 2026, officials said.

About the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority is an independent transportation planning and construction agency created in 1998 by the state Legislature to plan, design and build the Metro Gold Line light rail system from downtown L.A.’s Union Station to Montclair. The agency completed the first segment from Union Station to Pasadena in 2003 and the Pasadena to Azusa segment in 2015.

Work on the Glendora to Montclair segment began in 2003.

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