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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 74-10
Monday, December 27, 2010
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

Work To Begin on Colton Crossing Grade Separation Project Near San Bernardino

Project receives $33.8 million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that a final agreement has been signed for a $33.8 million Recovery Act-funded project that will upgrade a train crossing and eliminate delays in the San Bernardino area. As a result, work can now begin on the project, which will elevate two Union Pacific Railroad Company tracks over two Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Company mainline tracks in Colton.

"Investments like this $33.8 million for the San Bernardino area are at the heart of President Obama's efforts to create jobs and improve our nation's transportation infrastructure," said Secretary LaHood. "This money will help to shorten the time needed for goods to get to markets all over the world and improve safety for motorists and train operators alike."

The grant is part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to promote innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, region or the nation.

In 2008, more than 110 trains - including Union Pacific, BNSF, Metrolink and Amtrak - passed through the Colton Crossing daily, making it one of the nation's busiest street-level rail crossings.

Located about a quarter mile east of Rancho Avenue, just south of I-10, the rail lines currently cross at street-level, which inhibits trains' movement through the area. The resulting idling of trains affects local air quality and slows the movement of goods to and from the nearby Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

"Given the economic significance of this route in and out of the nation's biggest ports, this project will create jobs for hundreds of workers, reduce local traffic congestion and greatly improve the quality of life for area residents ," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez.

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the selection of $1.5 billion worth of TIGER grants for 51 projects as part of the first anniversary of the Recovery Act on February 17.

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