LOS ANGELES - The public agency building the Alameda Corridor on Monday commemorated completion of a new Los Angeles River Bridge, the first structure built as part of the rail cargo expressway project.
Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill and the chairman of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) Governing Board, Rudy
Svorinich, Jr., unveiled a plaque during a brief ceremony on the bridge, which replaces a structure built in 1905.
"This is an important day for the Alameda Corridor because the Los Angeles River Bridge represents the first major structure completed as part of the project," Svorinich said. "Construction activity is now intensifying as work begins on the Mid-Corridor trench, and we look forward to completion of this entire project, which is of vital importance to not only Southern California but the entire nation."
ACTA is building a 20-mile-long 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 bridge is located at a crucial point near the northern terminus of the corridor, where cargo-laden trains leave the expressway and begin dispersing to the rail yards in the area. To avoid bottlenecks and delays at the river, a new three-track bridge was needed to replace the old single-track structure. One track is operational, while the other two will be linked to the completed corridor in early 2002.
Construction began in April 1997 and concluded last moth, with a total cost of approximately $6.5 million. The lead contractor was Kiewit Pacific Co. and the bridge was designed by Frederic R. Harris, Inc. Disadvantaged Business Enterprises
(DBEs) performed 27 percent of the work on the bridge, exceeding ACTA's policy of 22 percent DBE participation.
To ensure uninterrupted rail service, crews in effect built one-third of the new bridge before demolishing the old structure. After the changeover to the new track in June, crews completed work on the rest of the three-track bridge. The structure spans 380 feet at width of about 58 feet. The bridge is about 30 above the concrete channel of the river.
The bridge features 68 concrete girders, each weighing 100 tons, laid horizontally across four support columns. The foundations for the support columns reach 72 feet below the ground level.
The entire $2.4 billion Alameda Corridor project is scheduled to open in early 2002.