The U.S. DOT has awarded a $20 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant for the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project. It is one of two awards to the state of California during the FY 2020 cycle and the only rail project in the U.S. to be selected.
The BUILD grant application was prepared by the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The $237 million project would improve mobility through the busiest, most congested at-grade rail junction in California. The construction of a grade separation at this at-grade crossing will make this rail infrastructure more efficient and predictable for both current and future use.
“Untangling the Diamond will provide immediate benefits to residents of Stockton, support our plans to expand both the ACE commuter rail service and San Joaquin’s intercity passenger rail service, and improve freight movements throughout the region,” said Christina Fugazi, chair of the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission. “We are extremely proud that this was the only rail project in the nation to win a BUILD award.”
The proposed project is a critical element in SJRRC’s vision to expand intercity and commuter rail service between the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento, and the Bay Area. SJRRC is currently in the planning and environmental phase of its nearly $1 billion “Valley Rail” service expansion program for both the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) and Amtrak San Joaquin. The Valley Rail Program will implement two new daily round-trips for the Amtrak San Joaquin service and extend the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) service between Sacramento and Merced.
“This critical project will improve both passenger and freight rail while pushing economic growth in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “The project will help reduce delays, improve air quality and expand access to the Port of Stockton.”
On Aug. 19, 2020, the SJRRC launched the environmental review process for the project, in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration and the California High Speed Rail Authority. For more information about the project and the environmental process underway, visit stocktondiamond.com.
“This project is a critical step in unlocking freight and passenger rail mobility in northern California. The Stockton Diamond Grade Separation will fix one of the most congested rail corridors, enhance safety, reduce emissions and provide faster, more reliable passenger rail options for our riders,” said Kevin Sheridan, SJRRC Director of Capital Projects and the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project Manager.