Ever since the days of Roger Rabbit and the demise of the Red Cars, Angelenos have been stuck on the freeway. In 2003, however, a golden opportunity appeared to cut loose from the freeways, if only for a few miles.
When the Metro Gold Line between Los Angeles Union Station and East Pasadena started running, folks discovered they could see the sights without having to fight the traffic. Now the much-anticipated 11.5 mile extension eastward from the Sierra Madre Villa station in Pasadena to Azusa is on track for completion in 2015.
On Wednesday, the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority board of directors awarded a contract to Foothill Transit Constructors: A Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture for the second leg of the project.
Parsons is a Pasadena engineering and construction company that has been in Los Angeles since 1944—four years after the historic Arroyo Seco Parkway was inaugurated as the first freeway in the country. Kiewit Corporation, based in Omaha, was the lead team member on the first phase of the Gold Line.
Kiewit also has the distinction of coming in 17 hours ahead of schedule on the demolition of the Mulholland Bridge over the 405 Freeway, a project that had been expected to close the San Diego Freeway for 53 hours.
The contract is the first rail project funded under Measure R, a transportation proposition approved by voters in 2008, and will provide a vital link to such places as City of Hope in Duarte and Citrus and Azusa Pacific University in Azusa.
This extension will not only provide easy transportation to attractions along the route and be a boost for businesses. It means a child who lives in central Los Angeles and is getting cancer treatments at the City of Hope can get there on public transportation without changing buses several times and being exposed to the diesel fumes. It means communter students don’t have to drive the crowded 210 Freeway to and from college.
The $486 million contract includes final design and construction of all aspects of the project except station parking facilities and the already-underway 210 bridge. In the award process, technical merit and price weigh equally. Of the three finalists, Kiewit Parsons above the other two teams on every category, including having the lowest price.
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