The $1.6 billion Alameda Corridor-East Construction project in the San Gabriel Valley got a financial boost this week when the California Transportation Commission (CTC) voted to allot $53.366 million in state bond funds to construct a roadway underpass and railroad bridge in the City of Industry and unincorporated Los Angeles County.
This section of the massive, multi-faceted corridor project is known as the Fullerton Road Project and allocation of the bond funds was needed to complete a funding package for the $145.2 million job. Construction bids will be sought for the project this month and a contract awarded in spring 2016.
Led by the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE), the overall project consists of multiple construction projects including center median and crossing arm improvements, traffic signalization, and grade separation projects along two 35-mile freight rail mainline routes from downtown Los Angeles through the San Gabriel Valley to San Bernardino County.
Construction of eight grade separations and the Jump Start safety enhancements at 40 at-grade crossings has been completed. Eight grade separation projects are under construction with another four grade separations and crossing safety improvements at four crossings starting in two years.
ACE has secured more than $1.6 billion in federal, state and local funds for the project and says it will continue to pursue existing and proposed federal, state and local funding opportunities.
Construction on the Fullerton Road Project is anticipated to begin next summer 2016 and complete in winter 2019. Plans call for constructing a six-lane roadway underpass on Fullerton Road, a four-track railroad bridge and a bridge spanning Fullerton Road. Another main street along the project route will also be lowered.
“Once complete, this important rail-highway grade separation will eliminate crossing collisions and congestion, emergency vehicle delays and train horn noise as well as reduce emissions from idling vehicle stopped for trains,” said Jack Hadjinian, Chairman of the ACE Board of Directors, in a press release.
The Fullerton Road project is a priority safety improvement project, ranked number 3 in Los Angeles County on the current California Public Utilities Commission Grade Separation Program Priority List. Officials say the project will reduce traffic congestion by an estimated 73.2 vehicle-hours of delay each day due to lowered gates at the crossing which is traversed by 51 trains per day.
While the Fullerton project prepares to start, the $336.9 million San Gabriel Trench portion of the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Project is moving along with mass excavation and concrete pours for the block walls and the invert of the 2.2-mi-long-trench. Mark Christoffels, ACE CEO, says the invert is being poured in 120-ft sections, which are allowed to cure before the contractor moves forward. The project is currently about 64 percent complete and Christoffels says they are hoping to start laying track and moving trains into the trench by next August.
The San Gabriel Trench grade separation project consists of lowering a 1.4-mile-long section of Union Pacific railroad track into a trench through the city, with four bridges spanning major intersections constructed to allow vehicles and pedestrians to pass over the tracks. The project is being led by Jacobs Engineering of Pasadena, CA, as construction manager; and Chicago, IL-based Walsh Construction as general contractor.
The project, awarded in July 2012, is scheduled to complete in September 2017. ACE says the project is creating 6,057 full-time equivalent jobs, and will reduce locomotive horn and crossing bell noise, and eliminate an estimated 1,744 hours of vehicle delay each day at four crossings, the busiest of which, San Gabriel Blvd., carries 35,310 vehicles per day and operates at 118% of capacity in peak hours.
Besides the trench ACE also has three other major projects underway in the San Gabriel Valley: The Nogales Street Grade Separation; the Puente Avenue Grade Separation; and the Fairway Drive Grade Separation.
The $118 million Nogales Street Grade Separation, located in the City of Industry, is constructing a six-lane roadway underpass and double-track railway bridge, and widening two busy streets in each direction. The project broke ground in May 2013 and will complete in 2016. Brea, CA-baed Griffith Company is serving as general contractor.
The $98.1 million Puente Avenue Grade Separation, awarded in July 2014, is being led by Manhattan-based OHL USA, Inc. as general contractor, and will be complete in 2017. This job will separate a roadway and railroad tracks in the City of Industry. Plans call for constructing a roadway underpass and associated bridges and a loop connector road.
The $141.8 million Fairway Drive grade separation project, scheduled for completion in 2018, is being constructed by OHL USA, Inc. The project will lower a roadway under two existing Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) and Metrolink tracks in the City of Industry and build a four-lane roadway underpass and a new four-track railroad bridge.