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ARTICLES AND PRESS RELEASESWhittier Daily News
June 6, 2006
Underpass Project Under Way
Industry traffic delays prompted construction
By Esther Chou Staff Writer
INDUSTRY - Community leaders celebrated the groundbreaking Monday of an underpass at Brea Canyon Road that is expected to shorten traffic delays.
The two-year, $56.4 million railroad bridge/roadway underpass is the sixth of 21 grade separation projects in the Alameda Corridor-East project.
It will lower Brea Canyon Road beneath railroad tracks and add pedestrian walkways. Portions of Washington Street and Currier Road will be lowered to intersect with Brea Canyon Road.
The project is being paid for by a mix of federal, state and local funds.
Every day, 50 trains and 21,700 motorists cross Brea Canyon Road. During rush hour, motorists often wait 15 to 25 minutes for a mile-long train to pass, according to Rick Richmond, ACE chief executive officer.
By 2020, the number of trains may increase 160 percent, and the number of motorists is expected to climb to 30,000 daily by 2025.
"This is probably the most important thing we can do in California," said Rep. Gary Miller, R-Brea. "Every afternoon, this intersection backs up when the trains hit. ... You're talking about hundreds of hours of people watching the trains go by."
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich said the construction project will reduce congestion and improve air quality by eliminating unnecessary pollution from idling cars.
The Union Pacific lines start at the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach and head north through Los Angeles in a 20-mile-long expressway. In East Los Angeles, the lines split; one moves through Montebello, Pico Rivera and Whittier and the other line goes through San Gabriel and El Monte. The tracks almost converge in Industry and Pomona before they head out to the rest of the country.
During construction, Brea Canyon Road between Washington Street and Spanish Lane will be closed for 18 months. North-south traffic must use Lemon Avenue, Fairway Drive and Grand Avenue instead. However, cars will have access to the Metrolink parking lot through a temporary road from Washington Street.
El Monte Mayor and ACE Board Chair Ernie Gutierrez said ACE will finish up construction of an underpass at Ramona Boulevard in El Monte next year.
Another grade separation project, at Sunset Avenue in Industry, has gone out to bid, and the project at Baldwin Avenue in El Monte has been designed and is waiting for funding, Gutierrez said.
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