L.A. Metro receives $38.3 million in funding for Doran Street Grade Separation Project

Oct. 12, 2023
The funding comes from FRA’s Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant; The Doran Street crossing has one of the highest numbers of safety-related incidents involving vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians in Los Angeles County.

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (L.A. Metro) has received $38.3 million in funding from the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Railroad Crossing Elimination (RCE) Grant for the Doran Street Grade Separation Project. The project will improve safety at the Doran Street crossing, which has one of the highest numbers of safety-related incidents involving vehicles, bicycles or pedestrians in Los Angeles County.

"Through President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are helping build safer and more connected communities. FRA is proud to partner with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority to fund a grade separation and safety improvements at the Doran Street crossing, one of the most dangerous in Los Angeles County," said Amit Bose, FRA administrator. "With a $38.3 million federal grant, we are making daily life safer for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians and investing in a rail corridor used by millions of riders each day.”

The project will make it easier for traffic to get around railroad tracks by building a grade-separated structure that links Los Angeles and Glendale by connecting West San Fernando Road to the Fairmont Avenue bridge, closing the at-grade crossing and improving the second busiest intercity rail passenger corridor in the United States, serving 8 million riders per day by Metrolink, Amtrak and freight trains.

“L.A. Metro is taking steps to make Los Angeles safer for people who are walking, biking or taking public transportation. The Federal Railroad Administration’s grant will help us make progress toward that goal at the Doran Street crossing, an area well-known for safety incidents. I helped pass the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law while I was in Congress and I am glad to see that investment going to an important safety and transportation project in Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Mayor and L.A. Metro Board Chair Karen Bass.

The grant will enable L.A. Metro to begin construction in 2025. L.A. Metro is providing a 28 percent local funding match for the FRA grant award to help pay for the $61.8 million project. The project is now fully funded and will officially begin construction scheduling.

“I am encouraged the FRA has decided to direct robust federal funding to a critical rail safety project in our region,” said L.A. Metro and Metrolink Board Member and Glendale City Councilman Ara Najarian. “The Doran Street Grade Separation project – once completed - will enhance the safety of thousands of individuals in Glendale and the city of Los Angeles who drive, bike and walk across this busy intersection every day. I want to thank FRA Administrator Amit Bose for his leadership in making this welcome news possible.”

Up to 90 trains per day use the tracks in this area and train volumes are anticipated to increase to 116 trains per weekday by the time the project is complete in 2027.

A second $220.7 million project phase will also build a nearby overpass at Salem and Sperry streets in Glendale. This project element will increase non-motorized access employment, residences and recreational opportunities in an area that is currently blocked off by the Los Angeles River and the 134 Freeway.

“As a longtime proponent of the Doran Street Grade Separation project, I want to wholeheartedly thank FRA Administrator Amit Bose for providing $38 million in federal funding for this crucial safety project,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and L.A. Metro and Metrolink Board Member Kathryn Barger. “I valued holding a productive dialogue with Administrator Bose previously this year in Washington, D.C. I commend the FRA for directing Railroad Crossing Grant dollars to the Doran Street Grade Separation project. It will undoubtedly result in far-reaching improved safety for Metrolink, Amtrak and freight trains operating in the cities of Los Angeles and Glendale.”

In addition to the grant for the Doran Street Grade Separation project, Los Angeles County received two grants from the Railroad Crossing Elimination Grant Program:

  1.  The Rail Crossing Elimination Master Plan (up to $600,160
  2.  The Sierra Highway Crossing Elimination Planning Project (up to $704,000)

“This project, funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, is critical to increasing pedestrian and vehicle safety along this busy intercity passenger rail corridor,” said L.A. Metro CEO Stephanie Wiggins. “Thanks to the strong partnership between our agency, Metrolink and FRA, thousands of Los Angeles County residents will soon have a safer route to work, school or wherever they need to go. I thank the Federal Rail Administration, Administrator Amit Bose and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the L.A. Metro Board of Directors for making this needed investment in rail safety.”

The Doran Street Grade Separation Project is part of L.A. Metro’s Regional Rail Program, which leads the planning, design and construction of capital improvements along 140 miles of L.A. Metro-owned railroad right-of-way. L.A. Metro’s Regional Rail program team also helps plan and coordinate plans for the future high-speed rail program in Los Angeles County, among other rail initiatives.

 “Safety is always Metrolink’s top priority and the Doran Street Grade Separation Project will benefit the riders of both our Antelope Valley Line and our Ventura County Line,” said Metrolink CEO Darren Kettle. “I want to express my gratitude and appreciation to our partners at L.A. Metro and the Federal Railroad Administration for this commitment. It’s these types of collaborative initiatives that are essential for ensuring rail safety."