It ends at Whittier. After a 13-year battle between South El Monte and Whittier over where the Gold Line light rail from East Los Angeles should end, LA Metro staff announced on Feb. 4 that it would come to a final stop at Whittier.
Officials were considering a light rail route along S.R. 60, but LA Metro will now recommend to the Board of Directors that the S.R. 60 alternative is not feasible. According to project manager Jenny Cristales-Cevallos, delays created by a S.R. 60 project would be too great and take years to work out. Federally protected contaminated sites and flood plains were just two of the challenges.
Planned future widening of S.R. 60, high-voltage power lines, the lack of land available for a maintenance storage facility and the fact S.R. 60 lacks connections to residential areas were other hurdles.
Constructing a line to Whittier will call for crossing the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel rivers and the 605 Freeway. Property also will be needed to dig a tunnel under Atlantic Boulevard, but officials believe ending at Whittier is the way to go.
South El Monte wants to see more data behind the decision, and there is still more work to be done before crews break ground on the Whittier option. An environmental analysis is currently in the works and will be completed in 2023. Construction is expected to start in 2029 and will be completed in 2035.
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