A groundbreaking ceremony Saturday marked the official start of construction on a 12.3-mile extension of Metro’s Gold Line that will bring the light rail route all the way to the western edge of San Bernardino County.
Don’t expect to see a ton of track being laid just yet, though. According to The Source, the first three years of work on the project will simply involve “relocating utilities” and shoring up engineering plans for the project.
Once that’s finished, workers will need to relocate existing tracks to make room for the line’s new segment—a task that will take longer than Metro initially anticipated. This and a few other construction complications have pushed back the project’s opening date by at least two years.
Once complete, the $1.5 billion extension will add at least five new stops to the Gold Line: at Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, and Claremont. A sixth station at Montclair is also planned, but San Bernardino County officials are still trying to come up with the funds to pay for it.
Most of the LA County portion of the project will be funded with dollars raised through Metro’s Measure M sales tax initiative.
Once complete, Metro estimates the project would allow riders to travel between Claremont and Downtown LA in just over an hour. The journey between the Gold Line’s current terminus in Azusa to Claremont would take just 17 minutes (a trip to the Montclair station, if it’s built, would only be two minutes longer).
When will riders be able to use those new stations? Not until 2027, projects the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority. Construction on the project, which also involves the construction or renovation of 25 different bridges, is expected to wrap up a year earlier.
Here’s a look at the full route of the project: