Dangerous Intersection Near Los Angeles Among Those Receiving TIGER Grants

August 31, 2016 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

3be350d648f0e82fb778040849893c1d_XLThey say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, in this case, I can certainly believe it. When I first saw the picture accompanying this post, my jaw hit the floor. When I showed it to others, their reaction was similar. My first question was, “Who in their right mind designed this intersection!?!” As if it’s not dangerous enough for train tracks to simply cross a multi-line street, but to place it diagonally (!) through a major intersection makes absolutely no sense.

This intersection is in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., near Los Angeles. Maybe this design would be understandable if it was used by a single train on a weekly basis, but this intersection sees more than 130 freight and passenger trains rumbling through every day! And to make matters worse, more than 45,000 vehicles cross the intersection each day. Personally, I don’t recall ever seeing a more dangerous intersection in my life. Needless to say, the California Public Utilities Commission designated it as the most hazardous grade crossing in the state.

That’s why I was heartened to see that the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA) was awarded a $15 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant last month from the Department of Transporation for a project to develop a grade separation to, according to LACMTA, “significantly improve safety, eliminate delays and enhance the environment.” LACMTA was one of 12 recipients to receive TIGER grants for rail projects in July, which totaled about $135.5 million.

Multiple partners will oversee a road flyover project to address the hazards at this intersection. They include LACMTA, the city of Santa Fe Springs, the city of La Mirada, BNSF Railway, California Department of Transportation, Amtrak, CPUC, Federal Railroad Administration, Metrolink and the California High-Speed Rail Authority. Construction on the project is expected to begin in January 2019, with completion estimated to be January 2021. I’m sure that for drivers who traverse this intersection on a daily basis, that day can’t come soon enough.

We’ve written posts about dangerous rail crossings before. I’m all for federal grant projects that can help alleviate these hazardous crossing. Vehicles, as well as individuals who cross these tracks on foot, are obviously no match for trains, so this is transportation funds well spent.

Let us know if you know of any dangerous intersections involving railroads that could be addressed through federal funding. We’d love to hear from you.

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