Monday, May 21, 2018

Two ACE grade separation projects receive state funding

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Two ACE grade separation projects receive state funding ACE

Two grade separation projects along the Alameda CorridorEast (ACE) freight rail corridor in eastern Los Angeles County have been awarded $78 million in grant funding following approval by the California Transportation Commission (CTC).



The grants are included in the 2018 Trade Corridor Enhancement Program which the CTC adopted. Officials said the grants are funded through revenues from the new SB 1 state tax on diesel fuel and from California's share of federal freight highway program funds.

"We appreciate the strong support from the [CTC] for the ACE Program," said Mark Christoffels, chief engineer of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, which manages the ACE construction program. "This action demonstrates the CTC's commitment to using SB1 revenues for needed transportation improvements to maintain our state's vital trade economy and to construct them in a timely manner."

The grant program is set to allocate $49 million for the construction of a $128.61 million roadway underpass on Montebello Boulevard in the City of Montebello. Officials said $29 million will support an $86.2 million roadway overpass on Turnbull Canyon Road in the city of Industry and Los Angeles County.

The Montebello crossing is the second most-hazardous freight rail crossing in Los Angeles County, officials said, and the Turnbull Canyon crossing is expected to see nearly triple rail traffic throughout the next 20 years. Both projects are entering the final design phase with the construction phase expected to kick off before summer 2020.

The Trade Corridor Enhancement Program will provide a total of $1.39 billion for 39 infrastructure improvements throughout the state along corridors that with a high volume of freight movement. The program will focus on improving our state's worst trade corridor chokepoints.

"The Trade Corridor Enhancement Program will help fund efforts to untangle some of the worst bottlenecks in California, including the State Route 57-60 Chokepoint Relief Project, where over 700 accidents occur every year, with one-third resulting in injury or fatality," said state Sen. Josh Newman, chair of the San Gabriel Valley State Legislative Caucus. "The allocation of SB 1 funds will help us complete the necessary early phases for fixing the congested and hazardous confluence of State Routes 57 and 60, which is ranked no. 1 for freight delays and truck accidents in California and is the no. 5 freight bottleneck in the nation."

Rep. Grace Napolitano, California's ranking member on the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, was joined by U.S. Representatives Judy Chu, Linda Sanchez, Adam Schiff, Norma Torres and Ed Royce in sending the CTC a letter encouraging the adoption of the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program.

"We strongly support funding for the ACE projects and other priority San Gabriel Valley freight projects from the Trade Corridor Enhancement Program, which is funded in partnership between the state and federal governments," Napolitano said. "The ACE grade separations are a priority because they help sustain goods movement along a nationally significant trade corridor while addressing the community impacts of growing freight train traffic."