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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Colton Crossing grade separation under way in California


Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez, state of California and local officials marked the start of construction on the Colton Crossing grade separation project in Colton, Calif.

To be completed in 2014, the $208 million project calls for elevating two east-west Union Pacific Railroad tracks over two north-south BNSF Railway Co. tracks, which currently cross at street level. The intersection, which opened in 1882, is used by BNSF, UP, Amtrak and Metrolink.

The Colton Crossing causes traffic slowdowns for more than 135 trains daily, and creates significant noise and air quality issues for local residents, said Mendez in a prepared statement. The grade separation will help ease those issues, as well as improve public safety by preventing train derailments, he said. In addition, BNSF’s and UP’s transit times will be shortened when moving freight to and from ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Last year, the project received a $33.8 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant.

"Californians have waited 129 years for this project, [which] is … stimulating the local economy and boosting the region's competitiveness by ending a major shipping bottleneck,” said Mendez.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/9/2011