By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Rail gridlock at one of the busiest at-grade rail intersections in the country has now been eliminated with the completion of the Colton Crossing Rail-to-Rail Grade Separation in Colton, CA. Project partners and the public celebrated this historic occasion on August 28, 2013, as east/west Union Pacific (UPRR) trains began to pass over the north/south Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) trains via the new 40 ft. tall rail bridge (see photo, p. 1).
This project relieves road and rail congestion, reduces wait times for motorists at rail crossings, and improves air quality in the region. This crucial infrastructure project was 131 years in the making, following a colorful history that included the infamous Earp brothers patrolling the crossing. Today, approximately 100 trains per day pass through the junction. The project was funded by federal grants, taxpayer-approved state funding, and BNSF and Union Pacific funds. The total project cost was $93 million, which was $107 million below the engineer’s original estimate.
Project partners included the U.S. Department of Transportation, Caltrans, San Bernardino Associated Governments, Riverside County Transportation Commission, City of Colton, and the two railroads, BNSF and UPRR.