Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $1.8 billion in awards from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program (or "RAISE") discretionary grant program. Out of that total California's haul was relatively small - a total of $65 million. But much of that sum will go toward upgrades to a key regional rail hub in Orange County.

The City of Santa Ana will receive $25 million for the grade separation of the double-tracked crossing of Santa Ana Boulevard, directly north of the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center. Construction of the new under pass will reduce six existing travel lanes to four, while creating space for on-street protected bikeways and sidewalks. Plans also call for a pedestrian overcrossing.

Proposed grade separation of Santa Ana BoulevardUSDOT

In addition to reducing vehicle idling at the grade crossing, the new multimodal improvements will connect to the future 17.5-mile Golden Loop trail system and potentially open up space for development adjacent to the station.

The grade-crossing next to the Santa Ana rail station is used by both Metrolink and Amtrak trains. Those services will eventually have a connection to the new OC Streetcar, which will temrinate at the station when it opens in 2025.

Missing out on funds from this round of RAISE awards was the City of Los Angeles, which had also sought $25 million to make upgrades to transportation infrastructure at the Sepulveda Basin in advance of the 2028 Summer Olympics. Many applicants for funding have found themselves in a similar position - USDOT indicates that it received $13 billion in requests versus $1.8 billion in funding available.

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