Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority
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Walnut Patch
April 27, 2012
By Melanie C. Johnson

Nogales Street Railroad Grade Project Gets $25.6 Million Boost

The California Transportation Commission voted Thursday to allocate the funds to the project, which is designed to ease gridlock in the area of the railroad tracks.

Plans for a railroad grade separation and road-widening project at the border of the City of Industry and Rowland Heights got a boost on Thursday.

The California Transportation Commission voted to allocate $25.6 million for the construction of the Nogales Street project, according to a news release. The funds will enable the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority, the agency overseeing the construction, to request the needed federal authorization from Caltrans to proceed, according to officials.

Once Caltrans gives the go ahead, Alameda Corridor-East can put the project out to bid.

?We truly appreciate today?s vote of support by the California Transportation Commission,? said ACE Board Chairman David R. Gutierrez, a City of San Gabriel Councilman. ?This project will eliminate a congested and hazardous roadway-railroad crossing which is ranked no. 4 in California for grade separation priority.?

The $97.1 million project includes the construction of a six-lane roadway underpass and double-track railway bridge to separate Nogales from the railroad between San Jose Avenue and Gale Avenue/Walnut Drive North.

Both Gale Avenue and Walnut Drive would be widened to two lanes in each direction around Nogales, which officials say would ease a traffic chokepoint before a temporary detour goes into effect for construction.

According to Alameda Corridor-East data, 42,700 vehicles use Nogales Street each day. The flow of traffic blocked at times when crossing gates are down to allow the passage of 40 Union Pacific freight trains and 12 passenger trains.

Officials said the project will eliminate delays for emergency responders and reduce the risk of crossing collisions. The reduction of congestion, emissions, a noise from train horns and crossing bells also are some of the benefits. In the past decade, there have been seven collisions between trains and vehicles, authorities said. The project also is expected to create 1,480 full-time jobs.

The Nogales Street project is one of 22 highway-railroad grade separations in the San Gabriel Valley and along the Alameda Corridor-East?s trade zone carrying goods to and from the San Pedro Bay ports. The ports handle 44 percent of the country?s containerized imports, 90 percent of California?s imports, and 75 of the state?s exports, officials said. Almost 60 percent of the containers travel inland along the corridor for delivery to destinations across the country.