As this article by OCTA explains, the Southern California region is growing both in terms of population and in the volume of goods moving through the region via both road and rail. I am sure many of us are familiar with the impacts this has on our daily lives — like being stuck for what feels like hours at a train crossing. But several local agencies are doing what they can to ease our pain. In Orange County, OCTA is in the midst of its OC Bridges program building grade separations. And in Los Angeles, the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE) has completed several new crossings, with many more in construction and design. (Go to theaceproject.org to see the project map.) The latest ACE projects to hit the news are the grade crossings in Montebello.
Nancy Martinez reports in her EGP news article “Montebello Council Approves Plan to Build Rail Crossings” that many in the Montebello community are glad the 15-year wait is (more or less) over. After much debate, the City recently approved plans for underpasses at Maple Avenue and Montebello Blvd. But not everyone is happy. It looks like the projects will require several properties including several homes and at least two businesses along Maple Avenue. (You can see the presentation to the City Council here.) The City’s approved plans now go on to ACE, who must approve them and will actually undertake the work — the last of ACE’s projects before the agency shuts down.
Grade separations are complicated, time consuming and expensive. They can also be very disruptive to the surrounding community. But the upside is a much safer and more efficient way to move goods and people through the region.