Legislators Reaffirm Support For ACE Rail Highway Grade Separation Projects
September 28, 2013 • 2,511 views
Federal, state and local elected officials gathered today at a media update briefing to reaffirm their support for the Alameda Corridor-East (ACE) Construction Authority’s current and proposed rail-highway grade separation projects. Grade separation projects (where the road goes over or under the railroad) eliminate the potential for deadly collisions at railroad crossings and reduce congestion and emissions from idling trucks and cars waiting for trains to pass.
Following a recent spate of collisions at railroad crossings in the San Gabriel Valley, the elected officials voiced support for the ACE program of constructing rail-roadway grade separations at busy and congested crossings in the Valley—all with shared freight and passenger rail traffic. With current and future projects valued at more than $1.02 billion, many of the grade separations are located near Asian American communities in the San Gabriel Valley:
Construction Start Cost:
2012 $336.9m 2013 $76.1m 2013 $112.8m 2014 $98.1m 2014 $122.2m 2016 $67.9m 2016 $138.2m 2016 $76.3m.
Crossing / City San Gabriel Trench / San Gabriel Baldwin Avenue / El Monte
Nogales Street / Industry & LA County Puente Avenue / Industry & LA County Fairway Drive / Industry & LA County Durfee Avenue / Pico Rivera
Fullerton Road / Industry & LA County Hamilton Avenue / Pomona
“We appreciate the support of the San Gabriel Valley’s legislators and local leaders and the community’s understanding and patience during construction of these projects,” said ACE Board Chair Norma Macias, Mayor Pro Tem of the City of El Monte. “The long-term benefits of these projects will far outweigh the short-term impacts of construction.”
“As rail traffic increases throughout the San Gabriel Valley, the ACE grade separation projects will make our communities cleaner and safer,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu. “That’s why I fought to create the first-ever National Freight Program to provide grants to rail projects like these. And it’s why I will continue to fight for funding for ACE projects and their inclusion in the National Freight Strategic Plan as the Department of Transportation continues to develop it.”
“By separating trains from vehicles and pedestrians, the ACE grade separation projects eliminate the possibility of potentially deadly collisions at crossings in the San Gabriel Valley. We must continue to support these important projects,” said State Senator Carol Liu, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee.
“I strongly support the ACE Construction Authority and its grade separation program, which is a priority for our region and in Sacramento,” said State Senate Republican Leader Bob Huff, a founding board member of the ACE Construction Authority. “I am pleased that the ACE Construction Authority has been able to secure significant funding from the state Proposition 1B transportation bonds approved by the voters in 2006.”
“The ACE projects are a success for the region, will continue to deliver important benefits for our communities, and I am pleased to join my colleagues in offering my support,” said Assemblyman Ed Chau.
The ACE projects also enjoy strong local support. Scheduled to join the legislators at the event were San Gabriel Mayor Juli Costanzo, San Gabriel Councilman Chin Ho Liao, San Gabriel Councilman Jason Pu, Diamond Bar Councilwoman Ling-Ling Chang, Rosemead Councilman Steven Ly and Walnut Councilwoman Mary Su.
Sponsored by the 31 cities in the San Gabriel Valley, the ACE Construction Authority is charged with constructing rail-highway grade separation projects at 22 crossings as well as safety improvements at the remaining grade crossings at total estimated cost of $1.754 billion. Seven grade separation projects have been completed and safety and mobility improvements have been completed at 39 crossings.
The ACE projects will:
• Enhance rail crossing safety by eliminating collisions and delays for emergency responders, motorists and pedestrians
• Reduce vehicle emissions from idling cars and trucks waiting for trains to pass
• Eliminate crossing congestion and vehicular delay at the busiest crossings.
• Mitigate impacts of growth in trade transported by train along the Alameda Corridor-
East Trade Corridor transcontinental rail network in Southern California, which carries about 60% of the containers that arrive at the San Pedro Bay ports, the busiest in the nation.
• Create 26,000 jobs over multiple years of construction
• Eliminate train horns and gate alarms.