On June 5, the Federal Railroad Administration announced more than $64.5 million in funding awards which will go toward seven grade separation projects within the State of California. Of that total, roughly $39.6 million is set to go toward projects in Los Angeles County.

"Every year, commuters, residents, and first responders lose valuable time waiting at blocked railroad crossings – and worse, those crossings are too often the site of collisions that could be prevented,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a news release. “As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we’re improving rail crossings in communities across the country to save lives, time, and resources for American families.” 

The three L.A. County initiatives that have been awarded funding include:

Doran Street Grade Separation Project

Proposed plan for Doran Street grade separationMetro via Streetsblog

Metro has received $38 million in funding to eliminate an at-grade crossing at Doran Street along the rail right-of-way which runs parallel to San Fernando Road. The double-tracked corridor carries trains on Metrolink's Antelope Valley and Ventura County Lines, as well as Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner.

The project will provide money to construction a new structure connecting San Fernando Road to the Fairmont Avenue bridge on the north side of the 134 freeway, eliminating the Doran Street crossing. Metro is providing 28 percent matching funding for the grant.

Plans for the Doran Street grade separation are also paired with a proposed closure of the Broadway-Brazil grade crossing a short distance to the south. For more on that, head to Streetsblog.

Los Angeles County Rail Crossing Elimination Master Plan

Los Angeles County has been awarded just over $600,000 for a planning study of all 112 railroad crossings in its unincorporated communities, which can then be evaluated to develop a list of potential grade separation projects. The County is providing 20 percent matching funds.

Sierra Highway Crossing Elimination Planning Project

Additionally, the County will receive slightly more than $700,000 to study potential grade separations for three grade crossings on the rail corridor parallel to Sierra Highway in Palmdale and Lancaster - including Avenue S, Barrel Springs Road, and Sierra Highway. The project, which also has 20 percent local matching funding, would eliminate crossings on a right-of-way served by Metrolink's Antelope Valley Line. That Metrolink line is already poised for up to $220 million in improvements intended to speed up trains and offer more frequent service.

Other Southern California projects with potential benefits to L.A. area passenger rail patrons include:

  • a proposed grade separation at 3rd Street in Downtown Riverside, which would eliminate a level crossing for three mainline BNSF tracks which carry Amtrak and Metrolink trains; and
  • a study by the San Diego Association of Governments of 11 at-grade crossings in and around Downtown San Diego, potentially eliminating or grade separating intersections along the LOSSAN Rail Corridor which carries the Pacific Surfliner.

For more information on the selected projects, click here.

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