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Gold Line extension receives millions in state funds, erases shortfall

After months of uncertainty, the Foothill Gold Line extension project is fully funded.

The project, which will be built through the middle of Claremont as part of a Glendora-Montclair extension, was awarded nearly $300 million from the Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program (TIRCP) Thursday afternoon, according to a release from the Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority.

The grant award erases the project’s $250 million shortfall.

Construction Authority CEO Habib Balian called the grant award “excellent news for the San Gabriel Valley and our region,” and noted it may allow the Gold Line to be completed faster.

Currently, the Gold Line extension is slated for completion by 2026. The project is set to go out to bid at the end of May, and the final project cost will be determined once bids are received later this year and a contract is awarded in October, the Construction Authority said.

The San Bernardino County Transit Authority (SBCTA) was also awarded grant money from TIRCP. SBCTA was awarded $247 million in grant funds, according to SBCTA spokesperson Tim Watkins in a release.

“Additionally, a joint application between LA Metro was successful in securing $39 million in TIRCP funds to extend the Gold Line service to Montclair,” Mr. Watkins wrote. This grant award is separate from the initial $247 million, which will be used to fund multiple projects within San Bernardino County.

The shortfall had loomed over the project for months, causing a degree of uncertainty about how the project would be fully funded. In 2016, LA County passed Measure M, a half-cent sales tax with no sunset date that would fund multiple Metro rail projects, including the Gold Line.

The shortfalls have factored into planning in Claremont as well. The city has weighed two different parking structure options to commissions and the city council in recent weeks, floating two parking space numbers dependent on whether or not Claremont would be the end of the line.

Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com

[Ed. note: a previous version of this article erroneously claimed the $39 million joint LA Metro/SBCTA grant award was part of the $247 million TIRCP grant awarded to SBCTA.]

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