LOS ANGELES COUNTY –
Emphasizing safety and the need for a positive learning environment,
Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) officials today joined
officials from Compton Unified School District to celebrate the completion of a
sound wall at Frances Willard Elementary School.
Built by ACTA contractors, the sound wall insulates
students and teachers from traffic on Alameda Street and railroad cars on local
service tracks adjacent to the Alameda Corridor rail cargo expressway. The
15-foot-high sound wall stretches approximately 385 feet north of El Segundo
Boulevard on the school’s eastern boundary.
“This sound wall enhances the learning environment for
our students by physically shielding the school from the sound of street and
rail traffic,” Principal Marion Murley said after a dedication ceremony.
“Anything that can be done to limit distractions is a good thing for any
ACTA officials took the opportunity to emphasize the need
for safety. The agency has distributed pencils, rulers and other materials at
Frances Willard and other area schools, reminding students to avoid construction
zones, obey warning signs and stay alert. For example, children and adults
should never walk around a lowered railroad crossing gate or climb on or between
“We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of
students and other residents of corridor communities,” said ACTA Chief
Executive Officer James C. Hankla. “Safety always comes first.”
The brief dedication ceremony, staged on the school’s
athletic field, featured Frances Willard students singing the new school song.
Attending the event were several officials from ACTA as well as trustees and
staff from Compton Unified School District.
ACTA, a partnership between the cities and ports of Long
Beach and Los Angeles, is building a 20-mile rail cargo expressway between the
ports and the transcontinental rail yards near downtown Los Angeles. The project
will improve the flow of goods through the ports and reduce traffic congestion
by consolidating rail lines and eliminating traffic conflicts at more than 200
street-level railroad crossings. The project also cuts air pollution caused by
slow-moving cargo trains and idling vehicles and re-connects Compton communities
by replacing at-grade rail crossings with grade-separated bridges.
In addition to the sound wall at Frances Willard, ACTA is
building sound walls at two other schools adjacent to the project – Compton
Unified’s Tamarind Preschool and Los Angeles Unified’s Ritter Elementary.
of the $2.4 billion Alameda Corridor project began in 1997 and is within budget
and on schedule for completion in April 2002.
PHIL HAMPTON (562) 435-5551
MARIA MORENO (310)