ANGELES COUNTY– Joined
by elected officials from throughout California and top transportation and
railroad executives, the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) on
Tuesday dedicated 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.
Led by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta,
officials switched on a railroad signal that allowed Amtrak and Metrolink trains
to simultaneously run in opposite directions on the bridge as a freight train
passed on the tracks below.
Junction is an important linchpin in the northern part of the Alameda Corridor,
one of America’s most significant transportation projects,” Secretary Mineta
said. “The Alameda Corridor
serves as a national model of innovative financing and public-private
cooperation, demonstrating the kind of creativity and resourcefulness we will
need in answering our intermodal transportation challenges in the future.”
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.
“The Redondo Junction Grade Separation provides multiple
benefits to the public by completely separating freight rail lines from
passenger rail lines and street traffic,” said Long Beach City Councilman
Frank Colonna, chairman of the ACTA Governing Board.
“Today we celebrate what can be accomplished through public-private
partnerships and multi-agency cooperation, and we mark an important milestone as
we steam toward the grand opening of the Alameda Corridor rail cargo expressway
in April 2002.”
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 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 $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.
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)