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September 10, 2008 > Two new grade separations in Fremont

Two new grade separations in Fremont

Submitted By Brent Pearse

The California Transportation Commission announced that the City of Fremont, in partnership with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) received $19.6 million in state funding for construction of two new railroad grade separation projects in the City of Fremont at Warren Avenue and Kato Road. The funding is part of the $250 million Highway-Railroad Safety Crossing Account included in the Proposition 1B transportation bonds passed by state voters in 2006. Both grade separations will reduce vehicle congestion, decrease idling vehicle emissions, enhance regional traffic flow and reduce commute times.

"Each new grade separation will provide vital transportation infrastructure improvements for Fremont residents and the future BART extension," said Michael T. Burns, VTA General Manager. "VTA is proud to partner and build projects aimed at reducing congestion in the region."

The grade separation at Warren Avenue will construct a new two-span railroad bridge over Warren Avenue, separating and depressing it under Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) tracks. Commute delays and accidents between cars and rail will be eliminated because routine freights trains will no longer block the intersection. Response times for emergency vehicles responding to incidents on I-880 or west of the tracks will improve because they will have a clear path across the tracks. This important grade separation will maximize additional investments currently being made at the I-880/Mission Boulevard Interchange Project.

"The residents of Fremont will benefit from trains no longer being required to blow their horns at crossings," said Fred Diaz, Fremont City Manager. "Crossing gates and bells at both intersections will be eliminated significantly reducing noise in the surrounding area." The Kato Road grade separation will enhance pedestrian safety for new nearby residential developments, construct a new two-span railroad bridge structure and depress Kato Road underneath the UPRR railroad tracks.

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