LA-area rail grade separation project completed

SAN GABRIEL, Calif. (AP) — Southern California officials have marked completion of another big project aimed at separating freight and passenger trains from street traffic.

The four-year $293.7 million San Gabriel Trench project east of Los Angeles was dedicated Monday by the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority.

It involved lowering the railroad 30 feet (9.1 meters) for 1.4 miles (2.25 kilometers), building four new bridges for street traffic and two railroad bridges. Trains began using the trench last year.

Proponents say it improves safety and eliminates crossing delays for thousands of motorists, reduces pollution from idling vehicles, improves rail reliability and eliminates horn blasts and crossing bells.

The original Alameda Corridor project completed in 2002 is a 20-mile (32-kilometer) stretch of railroad from the Los Angeles-Long Beach ports, including 10 miles (16 kilometers) below grade.