Gold Line could travel underground on its way to Whittier

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The Gold Line is set to continue its eastward expansion, after voters approved Metro’s Measure M ballot measure in November, and a new staff report from Metro recommends that part of the extended line travel underground.

Spotted by Urbanize LA, the study of potential routes for the project was presented to the agency’s Gateway Cities Service Council last week. One of several planned extensions to the current Gold Line, the route would convert the Atlantic station in East LA into a below-ground stop.

The train would then proceed south beneath Atlantic Boulevard, stopping at Whittier Boulevard, before turning east to a stop at the Citadel Outlets in Commerce. After that, the light rail line would emerge onto a raised platform and continue on toward its final stop in Whittier.

The Whittier route is one of two planned extensions to the southern end of the Gold Line. The other would take the train along the 60 freeway toward El Monte. The study finds that both projects could be completed with a connector track connecting the two extensions to the existing line.

A separate extension to the northern portion Gold Line will continue the route from its current terminus in Azusa all the way to Montclair.

A map details possible routes for the extension to Whittier. Metro staff recommends the Atlantic concept (bright green).
Metro Los Angeles

By the time these projects are constructed, the Gold Line will have been broken apart at Union Station as part of the under-construction Regional Connector project. Expected to wrap up in 2021, the project will eventually link the northern Gold Line to the Blue Line, while the southern part of the Gold Line will be connected to the Expo Line.

Metro staffers estimate the extensions would cost a combined $6 billion. Phase one of the project is scheduled to get underway in 2029, with the second phase scheduled for 2053. If you’re wondering whether you’ll even be alive at that point, rest assured that those dates aren’t set in stone.

Right now, Metro staffers are trying to get as many projects shovel-ready as possible in case new sources of funding come along that could accelerate construction timelines. Already, the agency is considering public-private partnerships to speed up delivery of a subway beneath the Sepulveda Pass and a new light rail line to Artesia.

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