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Gold Line extension plans continue despite lack of funds

Despite the Metro Transportation Authority’s decision not to fund the Gold Line’s continuation from Azusa to Montclair, plans for the 12.3-mile portion of the Los Angeles and San Bernardino county light rail system continue to move forward.

The Foothill Extension Authority Board released the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) this week for the estimated $800 million dollar project. Lack of identified funds is no hindrance for the Foothill Extension board, which will begin to look into other possible sources of future funding, according to Sam Pedroza, chairman of the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension.

“You never know what changes will arise. We need to have a plan,” Mr. Pedroza said, adding that the extension board will still continue to seek federal funding.

The extensive report includes 6 stations and parking facilities to be built in the cities of Claremont, Glendora, La Verne, Montclair, Pomona and San Dimas. Also included are 26 level crossings, 2 bridges and 2 overpasses. No significant impact is expected to the city of Claremont, according to Mr. Pedroza. In fact, he believes it will alleviate some of the traffic build-up currently experienced with the Metrolink train, which will be moved farther east and include a new platform. Mr. Pedroza also noted that the historic aspects of the Claremont Depot will remain intact.

As the environmental report moves forward for review, the Foothill Extension Authority Board will continue to seek federal funding.

“Having the EIR done will really help us prove that this project is ready to move forward,” Mr. Pedroza said. “We are ready and prepared.”

Two public meetings on the Environmental Impact Report will take place next month. The first will take place Thursday, September 20 at the Montclair Senior Center at 5111 Benito St. The other will take place Monday, September 24 at La Verne’s Hillcrest Meeting House, 2705 Mountain View Drive. Both meetings take place at 5:30 p.m.

Those unable to attend the meetings may submit comments by mail to Lisa Levy Buch at 406 E. Huntington Drive, Suite 202, Monrovia, CA 91016 or by email to llevybuch@foothillextension.org. Comments will be accepted through Friday, October 5.

The full report can be viewed on the Foothill Extension’s website at www.foothillextension.org or at the Claremont Public Library, 207 Harvard Ave. For more information call 626-471-9050.

—Beth Hartnett

news@claremont-courier.com

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