CHSRA celebrates completion of Poso Avenue grade separation project

Aug. 8, 2023
The Poso Avenue underpass will serve as a grade separation, taking traffic and pedestrians under the BNSF freight railroad and future high-speed rail tracks.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA), in collaboration with California Rail Builders and the city of Wasco, celebrated the completion of the Poso Avenue grade separation project. The underpass is now open to traffic.

The Poso Avenue underpass is located between State Route 43 and J Street and has four lanes and pedestrian access. It will serve as a grade separation, taking traffic and pedestrians under the BNSF freight railroad and future high-speed rail tracks.

“The California High-Speed Rail Authority is appreciative for the collaboration and partnership from the city of Wasco as we bring this historic project one step closer to completion,” said Central Valley Regional Director Garth Fernandez. “Completion of the Poso Avenue underpass brings us closer to completion of this southernmost section of construction in the Central Valley and delivering electrified passenger service for the people of California.”

“The city is excited to have this important underpass open to traffic today,” said Wasco City Manager Scott Hurlbert. “Poso Avenue is a vital connection between Wasco’s industrial area and Highway 43 and also provides secondary access to Highway 46. The new underpass, combined with the closure of the Sixth Street rail crossing, removes two at-grade rail crossings, a significant safety improvement.”

Poso Avenue underpass and grade separation by the numbers:

  • 1,084 feet long
  • 67 feet wide
  • 21 feet below grade
  • Three bridges that will carry either high-speed rail, BNSF or vehicle traffic over Poso Avenue

The Poso Street underpass is the latest structure to be opened to traffic in Kern County and the sixth structure to be completed in the Central Valley this year. CHSRA also completed the McCombs Road grade separation in July, as well as the completion of the Elkhorn Avenue overcrossing in Fresno County, and earlier in 2023, grade separations at Idaho and Dover avenues in Kings County were also opened to traffic. In May, CHSRA also completed the Cedar Viaduct, a high-speed rail signature structure in Fresno County.

Since the start of construction, CHSRA has created more than 11,000 construction jobs, a majority going to residents from the Central Valley. This includes creating more than 2,116 jobs for residents living in Kern County.

CHSRA has begun work to extend the 119 miles under construction to 171 miles of future electrified high-speed rail from Merced to Bakersfield. There are more than 30 active construction sites in California’s Central Valley, with CHSRA having environmentally cleared 422 miles of the high-speed rail program from the Bay Area to the Los Angeles Basin.