ACE begins construction of San Gabriel Trench project

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor
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Aerial rendering of the completed San Gabriel Trench.
Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority

Construction of a $336-million, concrete-walled railroad trench reaching 30 feet deep, 65 feet wide and 1.4 miles long through the city of San Gabriel, Calif., began on Nov. 1.

The grade separation project will eliminate vehicle delays and deadly collisions at four crossings and reducing emissions from idling cars and trucks forced to wait for passing freight trains.

Street bridges spanning the San Gabriel Trench will be constructed at Ramona Street, Mission Road, Del Mar Avenue and San Gabriel Boulevard, which are used daily by nearly 90,000 motorists. Once completed in 2017, cars, trucks and emergency vehicles will no longer need to wait for an average of 18 trains per day, projected to increase to 61 trains per day by 2025 if a second track is installed as planned by Union Pacific.

“This is a proud and great day for the City of San Gabriel and the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority,” said San Gabriel Councilman David Gutierrez, chairman of the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE). “The San Gabriel Trench project will eliminate traffic delays due to passing trains, deadly crossing collisions, locomotive horn blasts, help improve our region’s air quality and create 8,900 jobs over five years of construction.”

The $336.5 million grade separation project will eliminate a collision hazard, silence train horns and crossing alarms and the trench walls will shield nearby homes, churches, schools and businesses from train noise. The project is an investment in the Alameda Corridor-East Trade Corridor, which accommodates about 60 percent of the port containers moved from the nation’s busiest container ports in the San Pedro Bay to the rest of the country via the region’s rail network.

“In addition to reducing congestion and improving air quality, this vital project is an important link in our regional strategy of moving cargo containers by train rather than in diesel trucks on our freeways,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor, ACE Board Member and current MTA Board Chairman Michael Antonovich.