The Press Enterprise has reported that construction has begun on an important project to improve Colton Crossing, one of Southern California’s more congested railroad crossings. Currently more than 100 trains pass through the crossing daily with BNSF trains running on north-south tracks and Union Pacific trains running on an east-west line. The improvement project, which began on November 8, will create a 1.5 mile overpass for the Union Pacific tracks. The overpass will ultimately cost $202 million and will be funded with $33.8 million in federal stimulus funds, $91.3 million in state bond money and a $70 million investment from the railroads.
Although the project was originally rejected 18 months ago, the Colton Crossing overpass project will now be able to be beneficial to both the railroads operating at the crossing and local residents. In terms of railroad traffic, congestion at the crossing will be greatly reduced and trains will no longer have to experience long delays as they wait for other trains to clear the crossing. Additionally, less delays for trains also equates to less traffic delays, which is something residents can greatly appreciate. An added environmental advantage of the project will be an improvement in air quality from a reduction in idling trains. Benefits to Colton residents will not end with Colton Crossing’s new overpass; as part of the deal that allowed the project to be approved, UP and BNSF will work together to build an underpass in the near future and enhance crossing gates, so trains can pass by without blowing their horns.
Its very hard to imagine dealing with two sets of heavily used train tracks at one crossing, so construction on an overpass for Colton Crossing is undoubtedly great news for the city. An overpass will keep half of the railroad traffic that passes through the crossing from effecting residents and it will also allow trains to pass with less delays, which UP and BNSF will be looking forward too. Less delays and less trains will be great for residents who have suffered through lengthy crossing traffic for far too long and no longer having to hear locomotive horns is a great bonus. This project is a great example of how funding can be used on railroad projects that benefit all parties.Posted in Freight Rail