Local officials came together last month to officially break ground on the Durfee Avenue Grade Separation Project.
The $105.5 million project will separate the roadway and the railroad tracks on Durfee Avenue between Beverly Road and Whittier Boulevard with a new railroad bridge and retaining walls.
The main focus of the project will be to eliminate crossing collisions and delays for emergency responders. Currently, it is estimated that there is a delay of 15 vehicle-hours a day as a result of a passing or idling train. This time is crucial as nearby Fire Station 40 encounters those delays when responding to emergency calls on the north end of the City. Much time is wasted when alternate routes, often longer, have to be taken when a train is passing. The new grade separation will substantially minimize all these safety issues as well as the harmful emissions from idling vehicles waiting for the trains to pass.
Another component that is being addressed is pedestrian and bicyclist safety. New pedestrian sidewalks will be installed on both sides of the roadway underneath the bridge, and a dedicated bicycle lane traveling northbound and southbound will be included in the roadway design.
Finally, much of the noise pollution associated with trains will be reduced when locomotive horn noise is eliminated, as they no longer have to blow their horn when approaching an at-grade crossing.
Construction of the project will primarily take place on Durfee Avenue between West Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard. The project is currently in the preliminary stages as much of the utilities having been relocated, and nearby property demolished in preparation of this project. The anticipated road closure of Durfee Avenue will not occur until later this year. The project is expected to take approximately 30 months and is anticipated to be completed in 2021.
The Durfee Avenue Grade Separation Project is in partnership with the Alameda Corridor-East Project (ACE), the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, Metro, the Department of Transportation, the California Transportation Commission, Caltrans, and Union Pacific Railroad.
For more project information, residents may call the Project Helpline at 888.ACE.1426, by visiting the project website at www.theaceproject.org or by following along with the progress of the project on Twitter at @ACESGV.