Alameda Corridor – East Construction Authority breaks ground on Nogales Street Grade Separation Project
By Anna Chen, April 5, 2013
This morning, Alameda Corridor – E
Currently, the crossing is used daily by about 40 freight trains, 12 Metrolink commuter trains and over 42,000 vehicles. The construction of the underpass will eliminate collisions and delays for emergency responders, motorists and pedestrians, create nearly 2,000 jobs, reduce vehicle emissions from idling cars and trucks waiting for trains to pass, and mitigate impacts of growth in trade transported by train.
Metro contributed $30.5 million in Prop C funds to the Nogales Street Grade Separation Project, which is 28% of the total project cost. With the Measure R funds, Metro’s total contribution of $671.4 million covers more than one-third of the overall estimated $1.6-billion Alameda Corridor East program.
Read the full press release from the Alameda Corridor – East Construction Authority after the jump.
Federal, state, local and railroad officials gathered today for a groundbreaking ceremony for a $110.5 million six-lane roadway underpass and a double-track railroad bridge to be constructed over Nogales Street, immediately north of the Pomona (60) Freeway in the City of Industry and unincorporated Los Angeles County.
The crossing is used daily by about 40 freight trains, 12 Metrolink commuter trains and 42,680 vehicles and is ranked no. 5 in the State for grade separation priority based on congestion and collision metrics. The congested crossing is among the most hazardous in Los Angeles County with nine train-vehicle collisions recorded by the Federal Railroad Administration over the last 10 years.
“This important project will reduce vehicle emissions, eliminate collisions, train horn noise and vehicle delay and create nearly 2,000 jobs over three years of construction,” said El Monte Mayor Pro Tem Norma Macias, Acting Chair of the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE). “We thank our funding partners for providing the support needed to move this project into construction.”
To improve motorist safety and reduce delays along the construction detour route, the first phase of the project will involve widening a three-quarter-mile-long bottleneck segment of Gale Avenue and Walnut Drive at Nogales Street. Once the widening and construction of a temporary railroad crossing are completed within 12-18 months, Nogales Street will be closed for underpass and bridge construction for approximately 18 months.
“The Nogales Street project will both facilitate and mitigate the impacts of goods movement by rail through our communities,” said Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “I will continue my efforts in Congress to secure federal funding for nationally significant freight projects such as the ACE grade separation projects.”
“I continue to be impressed by the ACE Construction Authority’s strong record in securing funding for and constructing its program of important grade separation projects. I am proud to be their champion in our nation’s capitol,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu, whose district includes the single largest ACE project, the San Gabriel Trench grade separation project.
“Trade is a major economic engine for our regional economy and remains one of my top priorities in Congress. Time after time it has been proven that new infrastructure projects can be built in an environmentally sustainable way – the ACE grade separations continue that vision,” said Congressman Alan Lowenthal, a longtime legislative leader on goods movement issues.
“I strongly support the ACE Construction Authority and its grade separation program, which is a priority for our region and in Sacramento,” said State Senator Bob Huff, Vice Chair of the San Gabriel Valley State Legislative Caucus and a founding Board Member of the ACE Construction Authority.
“Our region is still struggling to regain its footing in the aftermath of the Great Recession. The economy is slowly improving, and it is important to note that the Nogales Street project alone will create nearly 2,000 well paid construction jobs over three years of construction,” said Assemblywoman Norma Torres, whose district includes several ACE grade separation projects.
“Los Angeles County Metro is contributing more than a third of the overall ACE program funding through Measure R and other countywide sales tax measures and is committed to remaining a significant sponsor of this important rail-roadway grade separation program,” said Metro Deputy Chief Executive Officer Paul Taylor.
“The ACE program is a success story for the San Gabriel Valley, and I will continue to support the ACE projects on the Metro Board,” said Duarte Councilman John Fasana, the San Gabriel Valley’s representative to the LA County Metro Board of Directors.
“As a key part of California’s transportation infrastructure, Union Pacific makes safety our top priority,” said Scott Moore, vice president, public affairs – West for Union Pacific Railroad. “Union Pacific works regularly with local law enforcement, elected officials and community based organizations to raise awareness that railroad tracks are dangerous. In addition to our work with communities, we work with various stakeholders to grade separate railroad crossings like Nogales Street whenever possible.”
The project is an investment in a program of grade separations along the Alameda Corridor-East Trade Corridor, which accommodates about 60 percent of the containers moved from the nation’s busiest container ports in the San Pedro Bay to the rest of the country via the region’s rail network. The Union Pacific Railroad mainline is one of the busiest sections of freight rail in the nation, with a current daily total of 40 trains per day projected to increase to 104 trains by 2025 as trade rebounds at the San Pedro Bay ports, the nation’s busiest container port complex.