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We’re splitting tour coverage into four separate posts: The first about the line in general, the second about the maintenance yard, the third about the iconic bridge, and the fourth about Transit-Oriented-Development built and planned around the line.
Jeff Rowland, the Community Relations Manager for the Kiewit-Parsons Joint Venture, knows just about everything there is to know about the Gold Line extension, and railroad construction in general.
I made sure to pick his brain with many questions throughout the day, and he was able to answer them all with facts and figures.
According to Rowland, this grade crossing directly southeast of the Arcadia Station was exceptionally complicated, due to its diagonal nature that required the reconstruction of the entire intersection.
Local residents and businesses have faced road closures for upwards of four months.
For the current Foothill Extension phase, each station was designed with a “cookie-cutter” design, which, at only $5 million each, left a hefty budget for constructing peripherals around each station, such as large park-and-ride facilities.
There is a smaller budget set aside for some personalized art pieces at each station, but the ‘cookie-cutter’ design was much more efficient.
These fine pieces of machinery include a shaping plow (pictured in the foreground) that will form the ballast to its trapezoidal shape, and a street-sweeper-like spinning drum attached to its posterior, which flails large strips of rubber around, clearing away any awry ballast. As all hi-rail vehicles, it is equipped with standard tires to move about roads and construction sites, along with retractable flanged wheels that allow it to ride the rails like a train is able to.
The hi-rail Speed Swing retracting its flanged wheels to rubber tires in order to navigate about the construction site. It is filled with sound-absorbing material in order to keep the sounds of the train on the inside of the wall.
Art is great, but, according to Rowland, art the size of a train station is pricey.
At the price tag of million each, the current stations are marvelous and magnificent, but their costs were just too high for the second phase of the line.