East Edition

Railroad grade separation studied in Santa Fe Springs

SANTA FE SPRINGS — The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority is studying plans for a grade separation to either carry the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tracks over or under the intersection of Rosecrans and Marquardt avenues.

Public Works Director Noe Negrete, in a written report to the City Council, said the MTA has hired a consultant (Biggs Cardosa Associates), which has proposed four alternatives.

Alternative 1 would take Rosecrans over the railroad tracks and include frontage roads while Alternative 2 would take the roadway over the tracks with no frontage roads.

Alternatives 3 and 4 would take the roadway underneath the tracks, one with frontage roads, the other without.

The City Council Dec. 22 chose Alternative 2 as causing the least traffic and construction problems.

Negrete said Alternative 2 would be the least costly, $39.31 million as opposed to about $42 million for the overpass with frontage roads.

The two underpass plans would cost $132.4 million with frontage roads and $122.47 million without.

However, cost of right-of-way purchase for Alternative 2 would be second highest at $69.5 million and $73.5 million for Alternative 1.

Negrete noted that the underpass plans would call for major relocation of utility lines while Alternative 2 would have minimal effect on water and sewer pipes while maintaining access to adjoining businesses and with only moderate traffic impact during construction.

Alternative 2 would include connections of Rosecrans Avenue to the southern leg of Marquardt and to Stage Road and Anson Avenue to the east.

Twenty-four industrial-zoned properties along the construction path would be affected.

Negrete said the railroad crossing at Rosecrans and Marquardt is considered the most hazardous in the state by the California Public Utilities Commission as the tracks cross the intersection diagonally with 45,000 vehicles and 112 trains using the crossing daily.

He noted that keeping the tracks at grade level would make it more convenient for the planned California High Speed Rail line to use the railroad right-of-way.

It’s not clear when the MTA will make a decision on the alternatives or when construction would start.

Environmental studies, specific plans and cost estimates must be made prior to construction.

Mayor Pro Tem William Rounds and Councilman Joe Angel Zamora made up a subcommittee on the issue.