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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

L.A.-area grade separation program to continue in 2014, OCTA says


The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) expects to post more progress this year on its bridges program, which calls for building seven grade separations in Anaheim, Fullerton and Placentia, Calif.

The underpasses and overpasses will eliminate the need for commuters and commercial vehicles to wait at grade crossings while freight trains pass by. About 70 BNSF Railway Co. trains use the Orangethorpe Corridor in Anaheim, Fullerton and Placentia each day, causing delays and safety hazards, restricting emergency responses and business access, and creating pollution and noise, OCTA officials said in a press release. More and longer trains are coming, as well, with daily train counts expected to reach 130 by 2030, they said.

Four projects are under construction: the Placentia Avenue, Kraemer Boulevard, Orangethorpe Avenue and Tustin Avenue/Rose Drive grade separations. The Kraemer Boulevard project requires the lowering of an intersection and is on schedule to open in summer.

Three additional projects will start in the next several months, OCTA officials said. Construction contracts have been let for the remaining projects — undercrossings at Raymond Avenue and State College Boulevard, and an overcrossing at Lakeview Avenue — but utility relocations and demolition must be completed before work can begin, they said.
Funding sources for the $614 million program include Measure M, Orange County’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements, and California Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvement funds.