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Rail News: MOW

Grade separation gets under way in southern California

On Feb. 1, federal, state, local and railroad officials held a groundbreaking ceremony to launch construction on a four-lane roadway underpass and double-track rail bridge in El Monte, Calif.

Part of a $75.9 million grade separation project, the underpass and bridge will replace a congested Baldwin Avenue grade crossing in the city. To be completed in 2015, the project calls for constructing a double-track rail bridge over a four-lane roadway and lowering Baldwin Avenue beneath a Union Pacific Railroad line.

Baldwin Avenue is used by 28,000 vehicles daily, including a significant number of trucks, and the crossing is blocked by an average of 20 UP trains per day, according to the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE), which is managing the project. In addition, two collisions have occurred at the crossing over the past 10 years.

The project "will eliminate train delays, deadly crossing collisions and locomotive horn blasts, help improve the region's air quality and create 1,370 jobs over two years of construction," said San Gabriel Councilman David Gutierrez, who chairs ACE, in a prepared statement.

The Baldwin Avenue project is part of an ACE program that calls for completing 22 grade separations in the San Gabriel Valley along a corridor used to move cargo to and from San Pedro Bay ports.


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