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Bridge would connect University, Gold Line with Fairplex

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Sebastián Abdon Ibarra
Metro Editor

A pedestrian bridge above Arrow Highway in La Verne has been in discussion among city officials since 2003.

Construction of the bridge should start in 2023, city officials said recently.

The bridge, which would accompany the Gold Line station set to open about two years after construction begins would allow pedestrians and bicyclists to avoid having to cross six lanes of traffic and the Metrolink rail crossing.

“There needed to be some … way to eliminate the conflict between pedestrians and Arrow vehicular traffic just for better functioning of that whole area,” said Bob Russi, La Verne city manager.

Russi added that the bridge will benefit Gold Line riders and improve foot access to the Fairplex, which sits on the south-side of Arrow Highway near E Street at the La Verne-Pomona border.

Eric Scherer, La Verne community development director, noted that millions of people visit the Fairplex for the Los Angeles County Fair, National Hot Rod Association drag races and more.

He anticipates that thousands of people will use the Gold Line to get there when it’s up and running.

“Trying to cross a six-lane highway as well as rail tracks doesn’t create a safe environment,” Scherer said. “The bridge will safely move pedestrians across,”

The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments is working with the city on the pedestrian bridge construction.

“They have more money than what the city has in our own budget,” Scherer said

According to city officials the cost of the bridge, including the underground utility components, will be about $14.7 million.

Russi said that money will come from a city bond measure, and the city is also looking at federal, state and regional funding possibilities as well.

He said the city has worked with its stakeholders including Southern California Edison, Fairplex, the city of Pomona, the Foothill Gold Line and public safety officials to receive feedback on design and construction of the project.

Russi said the bridge will benefit the Fairplex and the University of La Verne.

“From our standpoint, we just wanted to make sure that it was walkable and that people are able to bring bikes on it,” said Jason Miller, associate vice president of facilities at the University.

Miller added  that from what he had been told,  bridge construction will have a minor impact on the University, and there should be no disruption to traffic on Arrow Highway once construction is under way.

Sebastián Abdon Ibarra can be reached at sebastian.ibarra@laverne.edu.

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