Wednesday, August 07, 2013

California Transportation Commission allocates close to $60 million to three rail-related projects

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The California Transportation Commission assigned $59.25 million to two grade separation projects and a rail connector project.

The distribution of funds was part of a larger allocation of $487 million in funds to 82 construction projects aimed at improving transportation, safety and mobility throughout the state.

The Orange County Transportation Authority will receive $39.51 million to construct a rail overpass of BNSF tracks at Lakeview Avenue in Placentia. This project is designed to eliminate potential collision points and reduce traffic congestion, while improving the movement of goods.

The San Bernardino Associated Governments will use the $8.85 million in funds it received for a grade separation project in Barstow, segregating BNSF's line from Lenwood Road. The elimination of the grade crossing will lessen the impact of freight movement in the community, remove potential vehicular and train traffic conflicts and improve air quality since gate down time will be eliminated along with idled traffic.

Both grade separation fund allocations are contingent upon approval of a budget revision by the California Department of Finance.

The third rail project to receive funds is the Richmond Rail Connector. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission will receive $10.88 million to construct an at-grade rail connector between San Pablo and Richmond on BNSF's Stockton Subdivision and Union Pacific's Martinez Subdivision. The project will improve freight movement to and from the Port of Oakland by allowing BNSF trains access to UP's Martinez Subdivision rather than have the trains travel through the city of Richmond to access the port.

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