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ARTICLES AND PRESS RELEASESPasadena Star-News
March 4, 2012
By Maritza Velazquez, Staff Writer
Agency to Build Railroad Underpass at Baldwin Avenue Crossing
This computer-generated rendering shows what a portion of Baldwin Avenue will look like after the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority completes a railroad underpass on the major thoroughfare. The agency recently received $37.6 million for the project, with construction slated to begin in late summer. (Courtesy photo).
EL MONTE - A public agency will launch a major project on Baldwin Avenue this summer aimed at improving traffic congestion and safety at a railroad crossing on the major thoroughfare.
Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE) last week secured $37.6million in state funding to build a four-lane railroad underpass and bridge on Baldwin Avenue, which accommodates 28,000 vehicles every day, according to ACE figures.
The total cost of the upgrade is more than $80 million, and the remaining cost is being funded from county and federal agencies.
ACE will begin soliciting construction bids for the project in late April, according to Paul Hubler, ACE spokesman.
El Monte Councilwoman Norma Macias, who also sits on the ACE board, said the project is much-needed.
"I think it's a dangerous intersection, especially for children crossing going to and from school," Macias said. "I think that in the long term, this is going to really help with traffic and congestion."
The project is one of more than a dozen railroad crossings either completed or in the process of completion in the San Gabriel Valley. And there are at least six more planned in the future, Hubler said.
The underpasses that separate the train tracks from the street eliminate the potential for train-vehicle collisions, delays for emergency responders, locomotive horn and crossing gate noise and emissions from idling vehicles when train gates are down, officials said.
There have been two train collisions at the Baldwin Avenue railroad crossing in the last decade, officials said.
Fifteen freight train and Amtrack commuter trains cross Baldwin Avenue on a daily basis.
The project is expected to take 18 to 24 months, according to ACE. Baldwin Avenue will likely be closed beginning at the end of the year for the project, Hubler said. Drivers and pedestrians will be detoured around the construction zone on Baldwin Avenue during the closure.
626-962-8811, ext. 2236
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