Alameda Corridor Dedicates Redondo Junction, Improves Transportation Efficiency
AUGUST 21, 2001
LOS 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.
“Redondo 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 federal loan.
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.