ANGELES COUNTY– U.S.
Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta will be the featured speaker
Tuesday at the dedication of the Redondo Junction Grade Separation – a massive
bridge structure that improves the flow of rail cargo, reduces rail passenger
commuting times and eases street traffic congestion.
“I am exceptionally pleased to be attending the
dedication of the Redondo Junction Grade Separation, a model of multi-agency
cooperation that enhances the efficiency of numerous modes of transportation,”
Secretary Mineta said.
The event begins at 1:30 p.m. at 2649 East Washington
Blvd., just west of the Los Angeles River in Los Angeles. Secretary Mineta also will deliver remarks at an Alameda
Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) luncheon scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at
Traxx restaurant, Union Station, 800 North Alameda Street. News media are welcome at both events.
Others scheduled to attend the dedication ceremony and
luncheon include members of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA)
Governing Board; California Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing
Maria Contreras-Sweet; executives from Metrolink and Amtrak, as well as Union
Pacific and Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads; Port of Long Beach and Port
of Los Angeles commissioners, and members of Congress and other elected
officials from throughout the region.
The Redondo Junction Grade Separation is a key component of
the Alameda Corridor, a 20-mile-long rail cargo expressway being built between
the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles and the transcontinental rail yards near
downtown Los Angeles. It stretches
the length of more than eight football fields and includes five different types
of bridge structures, carrying Metrolink and Amtrak trains over the Alameda
Corridor cargo mainlines, Washington Boulevard, the Los Angeles River,
Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) rail lines and Soto Street.
By eliminating traffic conflicts at more than 200
street-level railroad crossings and consolidating far-flung rail lines, the
Alameda Corridor will improve the flow of cargo containers moving through the
increasingly busy ports. Currently,
the ports are served by four branch rail lines that accommodate approximately 20
trains per day averaging 15-20 mph. The
Alameda Corridor will accommodate up to 100 trains per day averaging 35-40 mph
on a two-track expressway.
Construction of the Redondo Junction Grade Separation began
in July 1999 and was completed in July 2001.
The Southern California Regional Rail Authority, which operates the
Metrolink system of commuter trains, contributed $7 million of the $47 million
costs, and has assumed responsibility for maintenance.
The Redondo Junction area – near the border between
Vernon and Los Angeles – is characterized by multiple freight and passenger
rail lines, as well as heavy truck traffic.
Nearby are transcontinental freight rail yards operated by BNSF and Union
Pacific, as well as Union Station and the Amtrak passenger rail yard.
By softening a curve in the previous alignment of railroad lines utilized
by Amtrak and Metrolink, commuting times into and out of Union Station have been
reduced by an estimated minimum of 3-4 minutes.
In addition, ACTA is completing several other projects in
the area to separate rail lines and street traffic, preventing delays and making
all transportation movements more efficient.
Funding for the $2.4 billion Alameda Corridor comes from
multiple sources, including a $1.2 billion in revenue bonds sold by ACTA; a $400
million loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation, $394 million from the
ports; $347 million administered by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan
Transportation Authority; and various other federal and state sources. Fees paid
by the railroads for use of the Alameda Corridor will pay off the bonds and the
Construction of the Alameda Corridor began in 1997 and
remains within budget and on schedule to open in April 2002.
The Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) is a
joint powers authority of the cities and ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles.
PHIL HAMPTON (562) 435-5551
MARIA MELENDRES (310)