La Mirada City Manager Tom Robinson, Councilman Steve Jones, Mayor Gabe Garcia, Councilman Larry Mowles and Assistant to the City Manager, Jeff Boynton were some of the participants in the groundbreaking ceremony.
Santa Fe Springs~An idea, a vision, and a conversation, ongoing since the late 1990's, has finally come to fruition as the ground breaking ceremony for the Valley View Grade Separation Project took place today at the intersection of Valley View Avenue and Stage Road on the La Mirada/Santa Fe Springs border.
The $65 million project-the largest transportation improvement project ever undertaken by either of the two cities-will construct and create a grade separation at the Valley View Avenue and the BNSF Railway/Stage Road intersection.
BNSF, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and LA Metro are the other project partners.
It is funded by state and federal resources and BNSF Railway.
"We are very fortunate to be able to move forward with the Valley View Avenue grade separation project. This important project will not only facilitate better and safer traffic circulation, but will also help revitalize the local economy, said City of Santa Fe Springs Mayor William K. Rounds."
The project is also a component of the $163 million Triple Track Project, which is a collaboration of Caltrans and BNSF Railway to improve the flow of international trade and passenger and commuter rail.
The Triple Track Project will be completed within a 15-mile segment of the railway between the cities of Commerce and Fullerton, and will result in the laying of a third track next to the existing two.
When the grade separation project is completed, traffic on Valley View-estimated to be 40,000 vehicles daily- will flow under the rail tracks resulting in improved safety for motorists, an enhanced traffic flow, and reduced air pollution associated with idling vehicles.
We asked Tom Robinson La Mirada City Manager how residents will benefit from this project, "It will do a great deal to relieve traffic congestion in our area, improve safety, and just speed up the commute for many people."
"This is a great project," Robinson said, "It's going to take two or three years to complete, and you will have to pardon our dust during the construction, but when finished, it will be a lot better for everyone."
When completed, there should no longer be a need for the warning horns from oncoming trains at the intersection, something La Mirada residents, who live nearby have been hearing for decades.
"In the middle of the night, people will sleep a little more soundly because of this project," said Robinson.
There is another benefit of the undertaking which seems to be very popular, the elimination of delays for commuters.
Josh Barrow of Whittier uses the thoroughfare daily and is ecstatic, even though the project is lengthy, "It's worth the wait. You don't know how many times I have been stuck there (at the intersection) at unfortunate times," he bellowed, "I usually have to take Stage down to Beach (Blvd) and then continue south."
Obviously there will be construction detours, closures, lane reductions and many other challenging factors associated with this project, but at the same time, a lot of the work will be done in the very early, overnight hours.
The project is scheduled to be completed around fall of 2014.
For more information, including a simulation video, and continuous updates, visit the project website at: www.vvgs.org