SOUTH GATE - Elected officials from across California joined members of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) Governing Board on Thursday to kick off construction of the corridorís most critical segment, a 10-mile trench that will eliminate street-level railroad crossings.
Gov. Pete Wilson, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater and Long Beach Mayor Beverly OíNeill were among those who wielded crowbars to lift railroad spikes from an old track during a ceremony celebrating the start of construction of the Mid-Corridor Trench. They were led in the ceremony by ACTA Governing Board Chairman and Los Angeles City Councilman Rudy
Svorinich, Jr., and other members of the board.
Other officials at the event held in South Gate along the corridor route -- included L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan and members of the regionís congressional and state legislative delegations.
"The Alameda Corridor project now moves one step further from a planning project to a construction project," Svorinich said. "The vital importance of the Alameda Corridor is reflected in the many people here for this ceremony. This project will benefit not only the cities along the route, but the entire region, the state and the nation by generating jobs and accommodating an increase in trade."
ACTA is building a 20-mile railroad freight expressway linking the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles to the transcontinental rail yards just east of downtown Los Angeles. The project will speed the shipment of cargo and improve the flow of rail and vehicle traffic by consolidating rail lines and eliminating more than 200 street-level railroad crossings.
The Mid-Corridor segment calls for construction of a 33-foot-deep, two-track trench running about 10 miles along Alameda Street between State Route 91 in Compton and 25th Street in Los Angeles. Bridges will be built to carry street traffic over the trench at 29 crossings.
The lead contractor for the trench is Tutor-Saliba Corp. of Sylmar, which has extensive experience with large public works projects. The contract amount is $712 million. The team led by
Tutor-Saliba proposed to build the project for the lowest ultimate cost.
The contract includes several provisions intended to keep the project on time and on budget. For example,
Tutor-Saliba must pay the first $10 million in any costs for unforeseen conditions and late charges of up to $200,000 a day.
The contract was set up to ensure that residents and businesses along the Corridor route directly benefit from construction. For example, 30 percent of all work on the Mid-Corridor segment must go to local residents.
Tutor-Saliba also must set up job-training sites and train at least 1,000 residents for construction-related and other jobs -- a benefit that will extend well beyond work on the Alameda Corridor.
In addition, ACTA has a goal that 22 percent of all work go to Disadvantaged Business Enterprises
(DBEs) -- companies owned by a minority or a woman or firms with annual sales below certain levels. So far, 24.5 percent of ACTA work has been performed by
The Mid-Corridor Design-Build Contract differs from a traditional public works contract in that the contractor is responsible for both designing and building the project. This has the advantage of allowing several steps to proceed concurrently, thereby saving time and money.
After a bypass track and other preparatory work is completed, actual excavation of the trench is expected to begin in mid-1999. Smaller-scale work began along portions of the Corridor route in April 1997.
Studies on the need for the corridor were first prepared in the early 1980s. ACTA, a joint powers authority between the cities and ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles, was formed in 1989 to build the project.
With an estimated cost of $2.4 billion, the Alameda Corridor is among the largest public works projects in the nation. It is scheduled to open in early 2002.