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Green light for California rail project

Written by Helen Wright - 10 Apr 2012

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority in California, US, has given the go-ahead for construction to start on a project to extend the Metro Gold light rail line in Los Angeles County.

The authority awarded the US$ 486 million contract to a joint venture between contractors Kiewit and Parsons in July 2011, but the project has been held up by right-of-way and land acquisition issues.

Construction Authority CEO Habib Balian said, "Today's action gives the contractor the go-ahead to complete the entire project, and keeps us on schedule for construction completion in 2015."

The contract is for the second phase of the Metro Gold Line project and involves constructing a 11.5 mile (18.5 km) extension to the Metro Gold Line going eastwards from the city of Pasadena to the city of Azusa in Los Angeles County.

Phase one of the project was completed in 2003 and saw the construction of the first 13.7 mile (22 km) segment of rail line between Union Station in Los Angeles and the city of Pasadena to the north-east.

The second phase is part of a larger extension project budgeted to cost US$ 1.4 billion which will see the rail line further extended to the east in two separate phases to reach Ontario Airport in California's San Bernardino County.

Phase three will see a 12.6 mile (20 km) extension from Azusa to the city of Montclair in San Bernardino County. This part of the project is under environmental review.

Finally, the Onatrio Airport link is planned to extend the Gold Line by another 8 miles (13 km) from Montclair to Ontario, terminating at the LA/Ontario International Airport.

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