Los Angeles (LOSSAN Rail Corridor Improvement Project)

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LOSSAN Rail Corridor

San Diego County, California

(November 1996)

Description The Los Angeles-San Diego Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN) is implementing a long-range plan to improve the safety, capacity and speed of inter-city rail service between Los Angeles and San Diego. The corridor improvements include three grade-separation projects in Commerce in Los Angeles County, Fullerton in Orange County, and Solana Beach in San Diego County. Total project costs are $31.18 million.

Status Section 3035 (g) of ISTEA directed FTA to enter into a multi-year grant agreement with the Los Angeles-San Diego Rail Corridor Agency (LOSSAN) for track and safety improvements in the corridor, and authorized $20.0 million in Section 5309 New Start funds. Through FY 1997, Congress has appropriated $19.9 million in Section 5309 New Start funds for this project.

All environmental work has been completed and the three projects are underway. The Fullerton project received $6.7 million of the appropriated funds. The Solana Beach project received $6.7 million in the 1996 appropriation. The project design is complete and construction has begun. The City of Commerce received $3.3 million of the initial appropriation, $3.2 million of the 1996 appropriation, and $1.5 million of the 1997 appropriation. The project design is complete and construction has begun.

Justification

The project is exempt from the New Start criteria because the Section 5309 share is less than $25 million.

Mobility Improvements: The current LOSSAN rail trip takes 2 hours 50 minutes between San Diego and Los Angeles. The ultimate goal is to reduce travel time to 2 hours 15 minutes, after all improvements are complete. The grade-separation projects will decrease travel time by making it possible to raise speed limits through the formerly hazardous crossings.

Cost Effectiveness: No significant increase in new riders is anticipated.

Environmental Benefits: Heavy auto and truck traffic congestion at the Telegraph Road grade-separation is exacerbated by lane imbalances which will be resolved with completion of the project. Lomas Santa Fe Drive is the only east-west arterial access across the railroad tracks within the City of Solana Beach. Volume exceeds 45,000 Average Daily Traffic (ADT) and the closing of the road for at-grade crossing of multiple commuter, inter-city and freight trains causes congestion and its resultant emissions at the grade crossings.

The project is part of a larger effort to develop the high-speed rail corridor, which is intended to decrease demand in the region for more freeway and airport capacity.

Operating Efficiencies: The impact of the project grade safety improvements on operating cost is negligible.

Local
Financial
Commitment

The State and local financial commitment of $11.28 million equals 36 percent of the total project cost. This amount is apart from the total capital improvements completed in the corridor with state and local funds, in excess of $200 million.

Proposed

Source of Funds

Total Funding ($million)
Federal:
Section 5309 New Start

$19.90 ($19.90 million appropriated through FY 1997)
State and Local: $11.28
TOTAL $31.18
NOTE: Funding proposal reflects assumptions made by project sponsors, and are not DOT or FTA assumptions.

Other Factors: In 1992, the USDOT designated five corridors nationwide to be developed into high-speed rail corridors. One of the five is the San Diego-Sacramento route, of which the LOSSAN corridor is the southern-most segment.