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The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority has announced an updated plan to extend light rail service to Montclair.

Yesterday, the Construction Authority's Board of Directors approved a schedule which assumes a groundbreaking in October 2017 and completion in late 2025 or early 2026.  This new timeline represents a two-year delay from the previously announced opening date of 2023, and reflects an increase in the scope of work for the Construction Authority, which has agreed to additional work at grade crossings, as well as the relocation of existing track and a Metrolink station.

The estimated cost for the project now stands at approximately $1.37 billion, an increase of $118 million from the budget approved in 2015.  The additional cost is the result of prevailing and minimum wage increases that will take effect during the course of construction.

The majority of funding for the project will come from Los Angeles County's Measure M sales tax, which goes into effect on July 1, 2017.

Ridership on the phase two extension is expected to exceed 18,300 weekday passengers by 2035, with six new stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair.

However, it should be noted that any track past Claremont would pass out of Los Angeles County.  Any extension past that boundary would require independent funding from San Bernadino County.

The extension to Montclair represents the third phase of Gold Line's Foothill branch, which currently shuttles passengers between Azusa and Los Angeles Union Station.  An initial segment opened to Pasadena in 2003, and the extension to Azusa followed in March 2016.

Following the completion of the new Regional Connector subway through Downtown Los Angeles, the current Gold Line will offer direct service to Long Beach.

Image via Metro

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