Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Colton Crossing public information meetings held

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Officials estimate construction of the long-awaited Colton Crossing project in Southern California will be complete sometime in 2014, the Contra Costa Times reports.

San Bernardino Associated Governments, the county's transportation agency, also known as Sanbag, is leading the project. It has recommended Union Pacific tracks be raised over BNSF tracks. Environmental documents related to the project are set to be available for public review late this year or early next year.

The news was circulated last week at two public information meetings held at city community centers to inform residents of the project's status and expected timeline.

"It was an overview of the process that has taken place and an update of where they were," said Councilman David Toro, who attended one of the meetings. "It was a good community showing. It was a lot of people I haven't seen before."

The Colton Crossing is an at-grade railroad crossing where UP tracks that run east and west intersect BNSF tracks that go north and south just south of the 10 Freeway. For decades, one set of trains has had to come to a full stop to allow other trains to pass. For years, a grade separation project has been discussed that would raise one set of tracks so trains can cross simultaneously.

In April, it was decided raising the UP tracks would be the cheapest and easiest to build of six engineering options that have been proposed, according to Sanbag documents.

Officials estimate the project will cost about $202 million. About $34 million in Recovery Act funds and $91 million in state bond money will pay for a majority of the cost. The remainder will be financed by the railroads.

Construction is expected to begin in September 2011, officials have said.

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