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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

Construction begins on L.A.-area railroad trench


On Nov. 1, federal, state, local and railroad officials attended a ceremony to mark the start of construction on a 1.4-mile railroad trench in San Gabriel, Calif.

To be completed in 2017, the 30-foot-deep, 65-foot-wide trench will grade separate Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak trains from vehicles at four crossings. Street bridges will be built spanning the trench.

The $336.5 million grade separation project is designed to eliminate safety risks at the crossings, where collisions over the past 10 years have caused two fatalities and two major injuries. Overseen by the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE), the project is an investment in the Alameda Corridor-East Trade Corridor, which accommodates about 60 percent of the containers moved by rail from the nation's busiest ports in the Los Angeles area to the rest of the country.

"In addition to reducing congestion and improving air quality, this vital project is an important link in our regional strategy of moving cargo containers by train rather than in diesel trucks on our freeways," said Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who chairs the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and resides on ACE's board, in a prepared statement.

In July, ACE awarded a $172.6 million contract to Walsh Construction Co. to construct the trench, which is the largest project in the authority's ongoing program involving grade separations and traffic safety improvements in the San Gabriel Valley.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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