The authority tasked with building a 12-mile rail extension from Glendora to Montclair in the East San Gabriel Valley announced Nov. 12 that it was scaling back the project due to rising costs and that two of the four bidding teams have been dropped.

The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority announced that rising costs – including interest rates, construction materials, some of which are now subject to trade tariffs and labor costs – have added $570 million for construction, bringing the total project cost to $2.1 billion. The higher cost projections were contained in initial bid statements from all four bidding teams short-listed for the project, forcing the authority to readjust its project cost estimates.

As a result, the authority said the funding it currently has in hand will not cover the revised total construction cost and therefore it will split the project into two parts. The western eight miles from the end of the current Foothill Gold Line in Glendora to La Verne – comprising three new stations – will be built first, with construction set to finish in 2024, two years ahead of the original completion date for the entire project.

The eastern four miles, from La Verne to Montclair in San Bernardino County – also consisting of three new stations – will be postponed until additional funding could be secured or until market conditions change to bring down construction costs. The authority in its statement noted that this portion of the rail line will be more complicated to build, in part because it shares a corridor with the regional Metrolink commuter rail network.

In addition to the scaled back plan, the authority’s announcement said two of the four teams short-listed for bids – a joint venture called Herzog Rados Lane and a joint venture of Fluor Corp. and Ames Construction Inc. – have been dropped because their initial bids were too high. The other two teams – an AECOM and Stacy and Witbeck Inc. joint venture and a Kiewit Corp. and Parsons Corp. joint venture – remain in the bidding process.

Education, energy, engineering/construction and infrastructure reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.