Metro has received a $38.3 million grant from the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for the agency’s Doran Street Grade Separation Project, which seeks to eliminate a street level railroad crossing to improve safety for Metrolink, Amtrak and freight trains operating in the cities of Glendale and Los Angeles.
The federal funding is the third largest grant in the nation and is part of FRA’s Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program. Up to 90 trains per day use the tracks in this area and train volumes are anticipated to increase to 116 trains per weekday by the the time that the project is complete, and up to 335 trains per weekday when California High-Speed Rail trains begin operating in the area in 2033. The project will also improve safety and increase non-motorized access between employment, residences, and recreational opportunities in an area that is currently blocked off by a river and a freeway.
Metro will build a grade-separated structure that links L.A. and Glendale by connecting West San Fernando Road to the Fairmont Avenue bridge. According to the State of California, the Doran Street crossing has one of the highest numbers of safety accidents involving vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians in Los Angeles County.
Metro is providing a 28 percent local funding match to help pay for the $58.3 million project. The project is now fully funded and will officially begin construction scheduling. It is anticipated to be completed in 2026. A second $220.7 million project phase will also build a nearby overpass at Salem and Sperry streets.
In addition to the grant for the Doran Street Grade Separation project, Los Angeles County received two grants from the Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program: one grant was for the Rail Crossing Elimination Master Plan (up to $600,160) and a second grant for the Sierra Highway Crossing Elimination Planning Project (up to $704,000).
The Doran Street Grade Separation Project is part of Metro’s Regional Rail Program, which leads the planning, design and construction of capital improvements along 140 miles of Metro-owned railroad right-of-way. Metro’s Regional Rail program team also helps plan and coordinate plans for the future high speed rail program in Los Angeles County, among other rail initiatives. For more information about the Doran Street Grade Separation Project, please visit metro.net/projects/doran-street-railroad-crossing/.
The FRA’s Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program was authorized in Section 22305 of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (P.L. No. 116-260). As noted in a Notice of Funding Opportunity issued in July of 2022, the purpose of the Railroad Crossing Elimination Program is to fund highway-rail or pathway-rail grade crossing improvement projects that focus on improving the safety and mobility of people and goods. For additional information, please visit FRA’s website at https://railroads.dot.gov/.
“I am encouraged that the FRA has decided to direct robust federal funding to a critical rail safety project in our region,” said Ara J. Najarian, Glendale City Council Member and Metro Board Chair. “The Doran Street Grade Separation Project – once completed – will enhance the safety of thousands of individuals in Glendale and the City of Los Angeles who drive, bike, and walk across this busy intersection every day. I want to thank FRA Administrator Amit Bose for his leadership in making this welcome news possible.”
“As a longtime proponent of the Doran Street Grade Separation project, I want to thank FRA Administrator Amit Bose for providing $38 million in federal funding for this crucial project,” said Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Member. “Safety and accessibility are key priorities at Metro, and this project will deliver both. It was an honor to hold a productive and shared dialogue with Administrator Bose recently in Washington, DC. The FRA is to be commended for directing Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant dollars to the Doran Street Grade Separation project.”
“This project prepares us well for the future service demands in this rail corridor,” said Hilda L. Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metro Board Member. “It is an excellent example of a regionally integrated project that will benefit not just our own county, but the broader Southern California region.”
“Because public safety is a Metro priority, I am pleased that the FRA has decided to invest significant federal resources in the Doran Street Grade Separation project,” said Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “Our partnership with the U.S. Department of Transportation – including the FRA – has never been stronger and this grant is evidence of this welcome fact.”
“Safety is always Metrolink’s top priority and the Doran Street Grade Separation Project will benefit the riders of both our Antelope Valley Line and our Ventura County Line,” Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle said. “I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to our partners at Metro and the Federal Railroad Administration for this commitment. It’s these types of collaborative initiatives that are essential toward ensuring rail safety.”