The Federal Railroad Administration has awarded millions to L.A. Metro to help cover the costs of a grade separation project at one of the most dangerous crossings in Los Angeles County.
The $38.3 million grant will be put toward Metro’s plans to construct a grade separation at Doran Street and San Fernando Road in Glendale.
That railroad crossing has one of the highest numbers of safety-related incidents in Los Angeles County, including dozens of incidents involving vehicles, pedestrians and bicycles, according to the State of California.
A grade separation is a roadway that is “re-aligned over or under a railway to eliminate hazards,” according to the California High-Speed Rail Authority.
As many as 90 trains per day use the tracks in the area and that number is expected to rise significantly in the coming years. That same same corridor will be used by the California High-Speed Rail when it begins operation in the Los Angeles region and officials said as many as 335 trains per weekday could travel along it.
The project will involve the construction of a grade-separated structure that will link Glendale to Los Angeles by connecting San Fernando Road, which runs parallel to the Los Angeles River, to the Fairmont Avenue overpass, and eliminating the at-grade crossing at Doran Street.
The Federal Railroad Administration technically awarded the grant in June, but Metro officials will hold a press conference at the site on Wednesday, serving as an unofficial first step toward the project’s future.
The project is expected to cost around $58.3 million and could be completed by 2026. The grant funding is part of the federal government’s Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program.
The Doran Street crossing is in use by Metrolink, Amtrak and multiple freight train companies. While none of Metro’s light-rail trains use the crossing, Metro owns the right of way.
Metro is working to make massive improvements to transportation connectivity and ease of access as part of its Vision 2028 project, which coincides with the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Thanks to support from the Biden Administration and additional fundraising by L.A. Metro, the project on Doran Street is fully funded. A second project just a few blocks south to construct an overpass that will cross the tracks and link Sperry Street and Salem Street, is expected to cost more than $220 million.
Wednesday’s event will feature speakers from the L.A. Metro board, including Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins, as well as Amit Bose, administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.
Editor’s Note: L.A. Metro initially said that California High-Speed Rail service could come to the Los Angeles region as soon as 2033. HSR officials clarified Wednesday that there is currently no timeline for when that service might reach Los Angeles.