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Rosecrans/Marquardt Train Crossing, California’s Most Hazardous, to be Transformed Into Grade Separation


 

BY BRIAN HEWS

Trains roar through the street-level crossing at Rosecrans and Marquardt every 10 minutes. Three deaths, along with 19 other accidents have occurred there in the last three years.

The crossing is traversed by over 110 freight and passenger trains and over 52,000 vehicles every day and has been rated by the California Public Utilities Commission as one of the most hazardous grade crossings in California.

The rail corridor through this grade crossing has major freight operations by BNSF Railway, as well as commuter and intercity rail services by Amtrak and Metro. These tracks are part of the Los Angeles–San Diego–San Luis Obispo Rail Corridor, the second busiest intercity passenger rail corridor in the country.

Yet nothing has been done to mitigate the traffic- and danger – until this week.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) announced the approval of a joint funding agreement that allocates $76.7 million in Proposition 1A bond funds toward the Rosecrans Avenue/Marquardt Avenue Grade Separation Project in the City of Santa Fe Springs.

This contribution will be matched by other local funding sources to complete the $155.3 million project.

The project will separate vehicle traffic from the rail traffic by constructing an elevated overpass structure “which will greatly improve safety, eliminate delays and improve air quality.”

The project is set to start as early as 2021 and is targeted for completion in 2023.

“Funding for this priority investment within the Burbank to Anaheim corridor will improve freight, local and regional passenger rail service, enhance transit connections, improve safety, and accommodate the introduction of high-speed rail service in Southern California,” said Authority CEO Brian Kelly.

Proposition 1A, the High-Speed Rail Act approved by voters in 2008, included $1.1 billion in funding for the construction of locally sponsored “bookend” projects. Of this amount, $500 million was designated towards a broad list of projects in Southern California through a Southern California Memorandum of Understanding.

In early 2017, the crossing was identified as the first project to be funded. In mid-2017, the Authority’s Board of Directors approved the project’s funding plan, authorizing execution of agreement. Remaining project costs will be matched by a variety of federal, state, local, and private sources.

“This grade separation project will go a long way toward improving safety and enhancing passenger rail and freight services within our county,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “With hundreds of trains and traffic traveling through this critical intersection, these improvements will be a win-win for all Angelenos.”

L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who serves on the Metro Board of Directors, told HMG-CN, ““The railroad crossing at Rosecrans and Marquardt avenues has been a headache in Santa Fe Springs for too long. Not only is it one of the most dangerous rail crossings in the state, trains crossing the intersection shut down traffic in all directions every ten minutes. With this funding, we will finally be able to build this grade separation project – not only keeping motorists safe, but getting rid of this congestion nightmare.”

 

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