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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Grade separation project under way in California

Federal, state, local and railroad officials attended a groundbreaking ceremony April 5 for a $110.5 million roadway underpass and double-track rail bridge in Industry, Calif.

Governed by the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE), the grade separation project calls for building the bridge over Nogales Street north of the Pomona Freeway.

The underpass and bridge will enable state and local officials to close a grade crossing that's used by about 40 Union Pacific Railroad trains, 12 Metrolink trains and 42,680 vehicles daily. The crossing is ranked No. 5 in the state for grade separation priority based on congestion and collision metrics, ACE officials said in a press release.

Under the project's first phase, a three-quarter-mile-long bottleneck segment of Gale Avenue and Walnut Drive will be widened at Nogales Street. Once a temporary railroad crossing is constructed and widened within 12 to 18 months, Nogales Street will be closed for about 18 months while the underpass and bridge are built.

The project is part of an ACE program involving grade separations along the Alameda Corridor-East Trade Corridor, which accommodates about 60 percent of the containers moved from the nation's busiest ports to the rest of the nation via rail. UP's mainline on the corridor is one of the busiest rail lines in the country, and the number of trains operating on the route daily is projected to increase from 40 to 104 by 2025 as trade rebounds at Los Angeles-area ports, ACE officials said.

"As a key part of California's transportation infrastructure, Union Pacific makes safety our top priority," said Scott Moore, UP's vice president of public affairs-west. "In addition to our work with communities, we work with various stakeholders to grade separate railroad crossings like Nogales Street whenever possible."

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