CTC Allocates $37.6 Million for Construction of Baldwin Avenue
Funds will permit contract to be awarded to build roadway underpass at congested rail crossing in El Monte
The California Transportation Commission voted today to allocate $37.6 million in state bond funds to construct the Baldwin Avenue grade separation project in the City of El Monte. The award of funds will permit the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority (ACE) to prepare to release the project for bids from contractors.
“We truly appreciate the California Transportation Commission allocating these bond funds for the Baldwin Avenue project,” said ACE Board Chairman David R. Gutierrez, a City of San Gabriel Councilman. “This project will eliminate a congested and hazardous roadway-railroad crossing on a busy thoroughfare which connects the 10 and 210 freeways.”
The $80.5 million project calls for constructing a double-track railroad bridge over a four-lane depressed roadway on Baldwin Avenue between Rose Avenue and Gidley Street. Bessie Avenue will end in cul-de-sacs with a new pedestrian bridge built across Baldwin Avenue. Baldwin Avenue is used by 28,000 vehicles a day, including substantial truck traffic, which are blocked when crossing gates are down for 14 freight trains per day and six passenger trains per week. The project will eliminate the at-grade crossing, the potential for train-vehicle collisions, delays for emergency responders and reduce emissions and locomotive horn and crossing gate noise. Project spending is projected to create 1,370 full-time equivalent jobs. The Federal Railroad Administration has recorded two train-vehicle collisions at the crossing in the past 10 years.
Baldwin Avenue will be closed between Rose Avenue and Gidley Street during the construction period of 18 to 24 months starting later this year. Temple City Boulevard and Arden Drive via Lower Azusa Road and Valley Boulevard will be used as detour routes. Local access for businesses and residences will be provided.
The Baldwin Avenue project is part of a program of constructing 22 highway-railroad grade separations in the San Gabriel Valley along the ACE Trade Corridor carrying goods to and from the San Pedro Bay ports. The ports are the nation’s busiest, handling 44 percent of the country’s containerized imports, 90 percent of California’s imports and 75 percent of its exports. Nearly 60% of the containers travel inland along the ACE Trade Corridor to destinations across the country
The ACE Project, sponsored by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, will relieve traffic congestion and improve safety around rail crossings while helping ensure the San Gabriel Valley’s continued economic vitality. The ACE program calls for constructing safety improvements at 39 grade crossings and 20 roadway-railroad grade crossing separation projects. For a copy of the ACE Project DVD, please call (888) ACE-1426 or visit www.theaceproject.org.