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The Other Front in the Gold Line's Eastern Advance

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Planning continues on the southeastern extension of the Gold Line (the northeastern extension is already under construction--you know, that bridge business over the 210), reports the Whittier Daily News, which attended a recent community meeting in Montebello. The good news is that, because of cheaper construction costs, pricetags have dropped considerably for the extension's two potential routes--either along the 60, terminating in El Monte; or something more circuitous along Washington Blvd. into Whittier.

The first option would be cheaper, at about $1.5 billion, while the southern route is a bit more, at $1.65 billion. Studies are showing that both options will bring in more riders than expected, with the 60 route attracting between 12,270 and 18,300 on an average weekday, and the other route getting between 15,660 and 20,800. The ridership isn't the only thing the latter route has on the 60 route--the 60 option travels through a "superfund" toxic site, which would require either mitigation or a bridge. The bad news is that the ridership estimates are still too low to qualify for federal funds, according to the WDN, and Measure R doesn't have enough funds earmarked to pay for either option. Another community meeting is planned for tonight in Whittier, and an environmental impact report is expected in the spring.
· Gold Line Extension Alternatives Would Cost Less [WDN]
· Gold Line Eastside Extension II Archives [Curbed LA]