High-Speed Rail Funded Grade Separation Opens to Traffic


 [ Article originally appeared in https://hsr.ca.gov ]

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (Authority) announced today it has completed another structure on the nation’s first high-speed rail system. The South Avenue Grade Separation in Fresno County is now open to traffic, adding to the continued progress along the 65-mile segment known as Construction Package (CP) 2-3 in Fresno, Kings and Tulare counties.

The South Avenue Grade Separation, located between Cedar and Maple Avenues, allows traffic to travel over the existing BNSF Railway and future high-speed rail lines. It is one of 36 grade separations being built in CP 2-3 to improve safety along the high-speed rail alignment, and the Authority anticipates it will complete several additional structures throughout this summer and fall.

Grade separations provide major safety improvements, especially in rural areas that include Fresno County, by realigning roadways over or under a railway to eliminate potential safety hazards at intersections. In addition to improving safety, grade separations reduce noise from train horns and decrease traffic congestion.

An image of the South Avenue Grade Separation in the middle, which shows the structure from the air and orchards all around, with the freight railroad tracks below heading straigh off to the horizon, beside where HSR tracks will eventually be laid, with the road crossing on the structure, rising on earthen berms to either side.


“The completion of the South Avenue Grade Separation is another example of significant progress for California’s high-speed rail project and a testament to our efforts to deliver a safe and sustainable transportation project for the next generation,” said Garth Fernandez, Central Valley Regional Director. “With more than a dozen completed structures across all 119 miles of construction, we continue to make daily progress in building high-speed rail.”

The South Avenue Grade Separation will ensure enhanced east-to-west mobility and safety for the travelling public while reducing the harmful greenhouse gas emissions from idling cars that would typically wait at the railroad tracks.

The South Avenue Grade Separation spans nearly 390 feet and is 40 feet wide. To complete this structure, design-build contractor Dragados Flatiron Joint Venture (DFJV) manufactured 12 pre-cast girders to form the bridge deck. DFJV’s pre-cast girder facility in Hanford is the largest job-specific pre-cast facility in California and is responsible for manufacturing more than 1,300 different types of girders, pile foundations and deck panels for various structures along the 65-mile segment.

Since the start of construction, the project has created more than 7,300 labor jobs. There are currently 35 active construction sites in the Central Valley with 119 miles under construction. Nearly 300 miles of the 500-mile Phase 1 System from San Francisco to Los Angeles/Anaheim have been environmentally cleared, which allows the Authority to position itself to advance construction in Northern and Southern California with additional federal funding opportunities and local partnerships.

For more on progress of the nation’s first high-speed rail system visit: www.buildhsr.comExternal Link.

The following link contains recent video, animations, photography, press center resources and latest renderings: https://hsra.box.com/s/vyvjv9hckwl1dk603ju15u07fdfir2q8External Link

These files are all available for free use, courtesy of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

SOURCE: https://hsr.ca.gov/2022/02/28/news-release-high-speed-rail-funded-grade-separation-opens-to-traffic/

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