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Showing posts with label Gold Line. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gold Line. Show all posts

Gold Line Agrees to Buy Land from Monrovia for $40.6 Million

Gold Line press release: 

This morning, the Construction Authority, City of Monrovia, and the Successor Agency to the Monrovia Redevelopment Agency signed an agreement that will result in the Authority acquiring the remaining land needed for the project’s maintenance and operations facility. The agreement includes settlement of all lawsuits and claims related to the land acquisition and follows the City Council and Successor Agency’s approval of the terms earlier this week, and the Construction Authority Board’s approval last night.
The agreement is actually a “Stipulation for Entry of Judgment in Condemnation” and will now be sent to the Superior Court judge overseeing the eminent domain case for final approval and judgment. Once approved, the Authority will have the ownership rights it needs for 100% of the land required for the maintenance facility - an important milestone for the project, per our funding agreement with Metro and our contractual agreement with the Kiewit Parsons Joint Venture (the Alignment design-build contractor).
The terms agreed to today include four separate elements. The Authority agreed to pay $40.6 million to obtain the land held by the City and the Successor Agency and to settle the eminent domain case and all current and future claims and objections by the City related to this land acquisition. The Successor Agency and City agreed to reimburse the Authority up to $200,000 for legal expenses related to the Excalibur Property Holdings, LLC case and $650,000 environmental remediation costs associated with mitigating contamination on the land. The City and the Authority agreed to arrangements related to the planned parking facility for the future Monrovia Gold Line station. The Authority agreed to pay the actual amount (up to $15.75 million) needed to make public improvements around the 24-acre maintenance facility, as required under the City’s Transit Village Planned Development Area.
Needless to say, the terms agreed to today are an important achievement for the project. With this and all of the other property acquisition and design-build agreements complete, we are on track to stay within the approved budget for the M&O facility. We are appreciative of the City of Monrovia’s efforts to work with the Authority to come to terms that were mutually acceptable, and to keep the project on time and on budget.

- Brad Haugaard

Falsework on Freeway Bridge Begun | STAAR Surgical | Parasoft

~ Gold Line crew installs the first falsework cross beam. The "falsework" is basically a frame to build the permanent bridge on.

~ Monrovia's STAAR Surgical will be introducing several recently-developed surgically-implanted eye lenses at the World Ophthalmology Congress in Abu Dhabi from Feb. 16 through 20.

~ Monrovia's Parasoft, which makes tools to help build defect-free software, has introduced SOAtest: a "performance testing solution that helps QA teams ensure secure, reliable, compliant business applications."

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Reaches Agreement with Property Owner for Maintenance Yard

Yesterday, the Construction Authority and Excalibur Property Holdings, LLC agreed to terms for purchase of the remaining privately-held property needed for the maintenance facility. The Metro funding agreement requires control of half of the required real estate before the remaining $527 million can be committed. Yesterday’s agreement brings the Authority’s total to approximately half of the land needed.  Meeting this milestone allows the project to stay on budget and on schedule.

 As you know, Excalibur – which owns 20% of the total land needed for the facility - has initiated several lawsuits against the Construction Authority over the last year. At the same time, the Authority has initiated eminent domain to acquire its land. All of these actions have been progressing on separate schedules and each has been affecting the other, together creating significant legal and financial risk to the project.

Over the last two weeks, the Authority, Metro and Excalibur representatives have agreed to terms through the guidance of Superior Court Settlement Judge Helen Bendix. As the result of this effort, all lawsuits are settled for $24 million, protecting taxpayer funds by avoiding continuation of costly litigation and associated significant project delays (which we estimate could increase the project cost by well over $100 million). The agreement amount is within the approved budget for the maintenance facility, keeping the project on budget and on schedule.

Gold Line press release

- Brad Haugaard

Temporary Support for Building Gold Line Bridge Superstructure

What the Gold Line bridge project will look like with the falsework in place.

Next construction step for the Gold Line freeway bridge is the superstructure. Gold Line spokesman Habib F. Balian explains:

Before that work can begin, Skanska must erect the temporary support structure, known as falsework, which will create a secure work space over the lanes of the freeway for the entire span of the future superstructure. Because the 584-linear-foot bridge is crossing the freeway at a skewed angle, the falsework structure will be significant and result in creating a temporary tunnel through this area.

Source: Gold Line press release

- Brad Haugaard

Pouring Abutment for Gold Line Bridge

The Gold Line reports that this week 21 trucks lined up to pour nearly 227 cubic yards of concrete for the walls of the southern abutment of the Gold Line rail bridge near the Santa Anita offramp.
- Brad Haugaard

Getting Ready to Pour Abutments for Gold Line Bridge

Installing the form work for the southern bridge abutment. Late next week, crews are scheduled to pour concrete.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Meeting Tonight

The Metro Gold Line Construction Authority will meet at 7 p.m. today here in Monrovia. Here's the agenda if you want to attend ( ) and the staff reports ( )
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Construction Update

The Gold Line reports that the Santa Anita freeway bridge is on schedule, and that ...

during the coming months, crews will install the temporary support structure called falsework over the eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway. For safety purposes during falsework installation, multiple partial and full closures of the eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway will be required. Full eastbound closures will all occur late at night, and the freeway will be reopened by 5:00 a.m. the following mornings. 

Also over the next several months, crews will be conducting surveying, geotechnical work and utility locating activities along the planned line. Major construction is scheduled to begin near the end of the year.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Bridge Progress | Williams on Town Council | A Few OpeningsFor State of City Speech | Fire Department Communications | Job Opening

A photo of what is and what is planned to be.

~ Construction on the Gold Line bridge advances as abutment forms are now being erected around the eastern abutment. These final abutment activities complete the substructure work and set the stage for construction of the superstructure. (Gold Line press release)

~ Terrance Williams, a candidate for the Monrovia School Board, has been selected to the Monrovia Arcadia Duarte (MAD) Town Council.

~ There are just a few openings left for Mayor Mary Ann Lutz's annual State of the City address (7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 24, at the Krikorian Premiere Theatre in Old Town). Call 303-6600 if you want to attend. Also, KGEM TV will carry the speech, and it will be on the city's website later.

~ The Fire Department has begun upgrading its communication equipment. The project should be completed by the end of next week.

~ Foothill Unity Center has a job opening for an executive assistant.

- Brad Haugaard

Freeway Closures Through Jan. 21

There may be closures of the 210 eastbound near Santa Anita between now and Jan. 21. Closures will begin no earlier than 10 p.m. and close no later than 1 p.m. the following day.

- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Progress, Late-Night Freeway Closures Coming Up

The form surrounding the south-side freeway bridge column near Santa Anita.

Habib F. Balian, of the Gold Line, reports progress on the Gold Line ... 
The I-210 Bridge two main column structures in the center median are complete and the “form” was moved early yesterday morning to the southern shoulder and is now installed around the third. The abutments are also well underway, and crews are getting ready to turn their attention to the super-structure.

In the coming weeks, installation of the falsework will begin. This activity will take a number of weeks to complete, and will require up to 20 late-night closures of all eastbound lanes of the I-210 Freeway. Some closures will occur on consecutive nights, and all will take place starting at Midnight with lanes reopening by 5 a.m.
Source: Gold Line press release
- Brad Haugaard

Full Eastbound 210 Closure Midnight Tonight

The 210 eastbound will be fully closed from midnight tonight to 5 a.m. Jan. 4 for work on the Gold Line bridge near the Santa Anita offramp.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Will Ask Court to Reverse Its EIR Ruling

The Gold Line will ask the court to reverse its ruling that an Environmental Impact Report was inadequately done. It says the ruling - which involves the Monrovia property the rail line wants for a maintenance yard -  was based on "erroneous facts." Here is its press release:

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority (Construction Authority) announced today that it will request reversal of a court ruling released this morning, because it was based on erroneous facts. The ruling released today “vacates” a previous ruling that had validated the Construction Authority’s certification of a Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (SEIR), which, among other things, found the Monrovia maintenance and operations (M&O) facility site environmentally superior to another site in the City of Irwindale.  At issue in today’s ruling was the adequacy of the alternatives reviewed in the SEIR for the M&O facility.

While rejecting one of the arguments made by the petitioner - that the number of alternatives reviewed in the SEIR was insufficient – the ruling found, incorrectly, that the alternate site in Irwindale evaluated in the SEIR was not feasible because of its location. The ruling stated that the site was “located beyond the terminus of Phase 2A [Pasadena to Azusa] of the project.” In fact, the site in Irwindale, just south of the I-210 Freeway, is directly adjacent to the Phase 2A (Pasadena to Azusa) alignment. 

“The basis of today’s ruling is quite confusing to us, as it seems to be based on a factual inaccuracy — that the alternative site evaluated for the M&O facility was outside the Pasadena to Azusa project area,” said Construction Authority CEO Habib F. Balian. “In fact, the alternative site evaluated in Irwindale not only sits directly along the project alignment, it also meets all other requirements set for the M&O facility. In the end, it was just found to be environmentally inferior to the Monrovia site.”

After a thorough, year-long process, that included multiple public meetings and hearings, the Construction Authority Board of Directors certified the SEIR, identifying the Monrovia M&O site as the preferred site, in January 2011.

“It is our hope that when the court understands that the Irwindale alternative site is located adjacent to  the Pasadena to Azusa alignment , it will conclude that the Authority’s SEIR complied with CEQA’s requirements regarding analysis of project alternatives,” said Balian. “It is an unfortunate error, but it is one we trust the court will correct as quickly as possible.”

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension from Pasadena to Azusa is a $735 million project funded by Los Angeles County’s Measure R. The light rail extension is being overseen by the Construction Authority and is currently under construction. The project is on schedule to be completed in 2015, extending the Metro Gold Line light rail line from its current terminus in Pasadena along the Foothills of the San Gabriel Valley. The extension includes six stations in the Cities of Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte, Irwindale and Azusa. During the four year construction project, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation estimates that the project will generate nearly 7,000 jobs and $1 billion in economic output for the region.

Top State Court Ruling Could Complicate Completion of Gold Line

The California Supreme Court has ruled that the State of California can kill off redevelopment agencies ( ). Monrovia has a very active redevelopment agency, which has agreed to sell land to the Gold Line for a maintenance yard. Patch editor Nathan McIntire has a good preliminary look at how this affects Monrovia:
- Brad Haugaard

Judge Says Gold Line EIR Done Incorrectly

Judge tells Gold Line its Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Monrovia maintenance yard was done badly. Could cause delay in completion of the line.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Approves Backup Plan - Eminent Domain Against Monrovia

The Gold Line board has decided on a backup plan to get land for rail maintenance yard - use eminent domain against Monrovia.
- Brad Haugaard

Will Gold Line Use Eminent Domain Against Monrovia?

The Gold Line may consider using eminent domain against Monrovia to get land for a rail maintenance yard if the State Supreme Court doesn't hurry up and resolve the cities-vs-state battle over redevelopment agencies, which has frozen all transactions until it is resolved.
- Brad Haugaard

Monrovia Finance Director Named Interim City Manager | SCEInvestigated, Apologizes | Boy's Soccer | 210 Bridge | Donnelly on Daily

The form for freeway bridge pillar.
~ Monrovia's finance director, Mark Alvarado, has been appointed to be interim city manager.
~ The State's Public Utilities Commission is investigating Edison's response to the windstorm.
~ SCE apologizes for windstorm response.
~ The Monrovia High Boy’s Soccer team finished as one of the top four teams in the Paso Robles Soccer Tournament.
~ Later this week, the contractor will pour concrete to complete the structure of the first column of the 210 bridge. The column “form” (shown in the photo) is nearly installed. Once complete, concrete will be poured into the form and allowed to cure. The form will then be stripped and moved to form the second and third columns.  Later next year the basket aesthetic elements will be added.
~ Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, who represents part of Monrovia, appeared on The Daily Show, defending the initiative process:
- Brad Haugaard

210 Bridge Patterned on Basket

The Engineering News Record calls the design of the new rail bridge over the 210 at Santa Anita "iconic." Reports it is patterned after a Native American basket.
- Brad Haugaard

Gold Line Tightens Its Travel Reimbursement Requirements

The Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority Board of Directors is tightening its guidelines for out-of-state travel expenditures by Board members and Authority employees and clarifying reporting requirements for all expenses. Only reimbursement for business-class hotels; travelers should take public transportation when available; no reimbursement for first class or business class air fares; a $90 daily max for food and expenses; and no reimbursement for personal expenses, such as movie rentals.

OPINION: Well... good. Rather bizarre that the Gold Line sent this out to the world as a press release, and it makes me wonder what prompted it, but still... good.

- Brad Haugaard