Alameda Corridor-East holds groundbreaking for Puente Avenue roadway underpass

Photos: Joe Lemon/Metro

The Alameda Corridor-East (ACE) Construction Authority broke ground today on a four-lane roadway underpass of Puente Avenue that will be built beneath a Union Pacific railroad line that runs along Valley Boulevard in the City of Industry. The $99.6-million project will support 1,780 jobs over four years of construction with completion scheduled for early 2018, according to ACE.

The Puente Avenue project will eliminate crossing collisions, vehicle queuing and congestion, train horn noise and reduce emissions from vehicles waiting for trains to pass through the intersection. Metro is the largest single financial contributor to this project, providing more than 50 percent of the program funding through Measure R sales tax and Prop C funds.

Here’s the press release from the ACE Construction Authority:

(City of Industry, CA) – Officials gathered today to kick off construction of a four-lane roadway underpass on Puente Avenue and Workman Mill Road that will be built beneath a Union Pacific Railroad line in the City of Industry. A railroad bridge and loop connector road between Workman Mill Road and Valley Boulevard will also be constructed.  The $99.6 million project will create 1,780 jobs over four years of construction with completion scheduled for early 2018.

“The Puente Avenue project will eliminate crossing collisions, vehicle queuing and congestion and train horn noise and reduce vehicle emissions,” said El Monte Councilwoman Norma Macias, Chair of the Alameda Corridor-East (ACE) Construction Authority Board of Directors. “We appreciate the support for this project from our funding partners.”

Located on the high-volume Alameda Corridor-East transcontinental railroad corridor carrying goods to and from the San Pedro Bay ports, five collisions have been recorded at the Puente Avenue crossing over the past 10 years, with one bicyclist killed and two pedestrians and one motorist injured. Rail traffic at the crossing is projected to more than double from 20 trains to 42 trains per day by 2025. Without the project, crossing delay will more than double by 2025—or will more than triple if the railroad mainline is double-tracked as planned by Union Pacific Railroad.

“The Puente Avenue project will improve community safety, ease traffic gridlock and facilitate goods movement,” said U.S Representative Grace Napolitano. “I am proud to champion the ACE grade separation projects in Congress.”

“As we aim to free up our roadways for freight shipping, there’s no greater priority than keeping Californians safe,” said U.S. Representative Ed Royce. “These ACE projects will reduce accidents at the crossing and cut down on vehicle emissions in the area, all the while ensuring goods from Californian businesses get to market.”

“Freight bottlenecks and congestion cost businesses and consumers billions of dollars per year,” said U.S Representative Judy Chu. “That’s why I have cosponsored legislation, H.R. 5101, to use a portion of existing import duties to establish a new National Freight Network Trust Fund that could support projects like the ACE projects, port projects and other important freight infrastructure.”

“The ACE projects eliminate potentially deadly crossing collisions and improve mobility, air quality and public health in our region and these important projects have the strong bipartisan support of the San Gabriel Valley delegation in Sacramento,” said State Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez, Chair of the San Gabriel Valley State Legislative Caucus.

“Busy rail-roadway crossings can divide communities and delay emergency responders,” said State Senator Norma Torres, a former 9-1-1 police dispatcher. “By separating the road from the railroad, the ACE projects provide a significant public safety benefit to our communities.”

“With rail traffic projected to grow as trade rebounds, we need to construct rail-highway grade separation projects if we are to improve crossing safety and regional air quality and reduce congestion in the San Gabriel Valley,” said Assemblyman Ed Chau.

“I have served in this community as an Emergency Medical Technician for more than 30 years. As a Pomona City Council Member, I joined the ACE Board of Directors to help solve the challenges posed by rail traffic to our residents and to public safety. I wholeheartedly support the ACE projects,” said Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez.

“This project not only will provide good-paying jobs, but is also in the public’s interest to help avoid congestion and help improve resident safety.  My family home in El Monte was a half-block from the freight railroad crossing.  I know firsthand the importance of grade separation projects and am pleased to support the ACE Construction Authority,” said Assemblyman Roger Hernández.

“I am proud to be a longtime supporter of the ACE projects dating back to my service in the State Assembly, the State Senate and the Congress,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor-elect Hilda Solis. “I look forward to continue working with the ACE Construction Authority to ensure economic sustainability in the region.”

“Investment in freight infrastructure projects, like the ACE projects, is key to maintaining our regional, state and national economic competitiveness as well as community support for Southern California as a leading trade gateway and corridor,” said Commissioner Fran Inman of the California Transportation Commission.  “I salute the ACE Construction Authority as a national best practice model for the efficient and cost-effective delivery of infrastructure projects.”

“The ACE program is a success story for the entire San Gabriel Valley, and I will continue to champion the ACE projects in our region,” said Duarte Councilman John Fasana, the San Gabriel Valley’s representative to the LA County Metro Board of Directors.

“Los Angeles County sales tax measures for transportation are contributing more than 40% of ACE program funding,” said LA County Metro Chief Executive Officer Art Leahy.  “Metro will continue to remain a significant supporter of this important road improvement program.”

The ACE projects mitigate the impacts of growth in trade carried by train along the ACE corridor, which accommodates about 60% of the containers that arrive at the San Pedro Bay ports, the busiest in the nation, handling more than 40% of our nation’s containerized imports.

2 replies

  1. Why do these grade separations take so long? 4 years? What is so involved that makes it take that long? just curious.

    • Hi M. Smith,

      Not an engineer or construction expert by any means, but I imagine most of the time is spend digging the underpass while maintaining the integrity/safety of the tracks so trains can continue to run during construction.

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source