Government and Cal Poly Pomona officials gathered today to celebrate the debut of a new freight railroad diversion route across university farmland that will bring an end to blocked crossings, collisions and train horn noise at two existing crossings in the City of Pomona. The crossings are at Pomona Boulevard and at Temple Avenue, the busiest thoroughfare in Pomona with 33,800 daily vehicles and which serves as a campus gateway for 27,000 students and employees.
“We thank our partner agencies for providing the support to make the Temple Avenue Train Diversion Project possible,” said San Gabriel Councilwoman Juli Constanzo, Chair of the Capital Projects and Construction Committee of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, which oversaw the project as part of the Alameda Corridor-East (ACE) program. “Investment in the ACE projects highlights our commitment to improving safety and mobility along rail corridors and we are pleased to announce the opening of the diversion route to rail traffic.”
The Temple Avenue crossing has had two train-vehicle collisions over the past 10 years. The total cost of the 2.3-mile rail diversion route was $94.8 million, funded from federal (52%), Los Angeles Metro (40%), Union Pacific Railroad (7%) and state (1%) sources.
“The safety of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians is a top priority for the City of Pomona and by eliminating at-grade rail crossings, we take a significant step forward in ensuring public safety, air quality and congestion relief for our residents and visitors,” said Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval, a member of the Capital Projects and Construction Committee.
“The completion of the Temple Avenue crossing is a significant gamechanger for Cal Poly Pomona,” said Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya Coley. “By eliminating collision hazards and blocked crossings, the train diversion makes it safer and easier to get to campus, and the end of the locomotive horn blasts will greatly improve the quality of life at the nearby student residences and for those who work in the area.”
“I am pleased to have been a champion of this train diversion project,” said Congresswoman Grace Napolitano, the ranking Californian on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. “The ACE grade separations are a priority because they help sustain goods movement along a nationally significant trade corridor while addressing the community impacts of growing freight train traffic.”
“Pomona is growing by leaps and bounds, and this project will make our community an even better place to call home. More and more jobs are coming to Pomona and the train diversion project prepares our communities for the growth that will follow,” said Congresswoman Norma Torres, who represents the City of Pomona in the U.S. House of Representatives. “I am proud to be a supporter of this project, and will continue to fight for more infrastructure improvements throughout the Inland Empire.”
“Investment in freight projects is critical to our country’s economic vitality but must be accompanied by projects that mitigate the negative impacts of freight movement on our communities in Southern California. The train diversion project and the other ACE projects accomplish both goals and I am proud to be a supporter of the ACE Program,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu, who represents the City of San Gabriel where the largest ACE project, the San Gabriel Trench, is nearing completion.