Critical Grade Separation Opens to Traffic in California

Projects | May 12, 2022


Photo of grade separation at Durfee Avenue in Pico Rivera, California

PICO RIVERA, CA — A critical and highly anticipated grade separation just outside the country’s second largest city is now open to traffic. The $108 million Durfee Avenue Grade Separation project in Pico Rivera, CA, southeast of Los Angeles, separated Durfee Avenue from existing UPRR tracks. It’s a critical piece of the Alameda Corridor-East (ACE) program, a massive construction effort aimed at mitigating vehicle delays and collisions at rail-roadway crossings in the San Gabriel Valley.

Benesch performed the structural and track design review for the project on behalf of UPRR; served as UPRR’s Public Project Engineering Consultant (PPEC); and performed construction observation.

“This project is traversed by 49 trains per day, which is projected to nearly double by 2025, so the benefits of this grade separation have been immediate,” said Railroad Division Public Projects West Group Manager Jordan Card, who oversaw Benesch’s efforts.

During the construction phase, numerous elements had to be tightly managed to facilitate the safe completion of the grade separation.

“Coordination, communication, safety and UPRR compliance reviews were integral to making that happen,” said Colorado Division Construction Group Manager Jess Hastings. “With more than 13,000+ vehicles reliant on Durfee Avenue each day, it was important to work with the agency and their contractor to get the underpass ready to open to traffic while protecting UPRR interests.”

Photo of grade separation at Durfee Avenue in Pico Rivera, California
Supported by drilled shaft substructures, the new 95-foot-long two-span railway bridge carries two mainline tracks over vehicular and pedestrian traffic on Durfee Avenue. The structure was designed for Cooper E80 Live Load plus impact with a 30-inch maximum total depth of ballast and capacity for one additional future track.