Goods Movement
    • Goods Movement main image

Over the past several years, approximately $500 million in funding has been invested in goods movement related projects throughout Riverside County.  These crossings present conflicts between rail and highway traffic and are located on the main lines of either the Union Pacific or Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroads.  In 2006 and again in 2008, RCTC developed a funding strategy to serve as a blueprint for constructing many of these at-grade railroad crossings.  In March 2012, the Commission adopted the Grade Separation Priority Update Study for Alameda Corridor East (Riverside County).

The various studies have assisted RCTC in securing much needed funding for the at-grade crossings.  To date, the following grade separation projects have been completed and/or permanently closed due to roadway reconfiguration:

  • Auto Center Drive (City of Corona)
  • Avenue 48/Dillon Road (City of Coachella)
  • Avenue 50 (City of Coachella)
  • Avenue 52 (City of Coachella)
  • Columbia Avenue (City of Riverside)
  • Iowa Avenue (City of Riverside)
  • Jane Street - Permanently Closed (City of Riverside)
  • Jurupa Avenue (City of Riverside)
  • Magnolia Avenue (City of Riverside)
  • Mountain View Avenue - Permanently Closed (City of Riverside)
  • Riverside Avenue (City of Riverside)
  • Streeter Avenue (City of Riverside)
  • Sunset Avenue (City of Banning)

In addition, the March Inland Cargo Airport - I-215 Van Buren Ground Access Improvement project was completed.  This was a key infrastructure project serving a large job center located in the county at the March Joint Powers Authority re-use area, estimated to create 38,000 jobs in the industrial, logistics, and medical sectors.

The following grade separation projects are under construction:

  • Avenue 56/Airport Blvd. (County of Riverside)
  • Avenue 66 (County of Riverside) - Will Start Construction 12/2016
  • Clay Street (City of Jurupa Valley)
  • Magnolia Avenue (County of Riverside)

The impact of delays caused by freight trains traveling through Riverside County continues to be one of the area's most pressing transportation concerns.  Southern California is the goods movement gateway to the nation because of the area's numerous advantages:  deep-water marine ports, highly developed networks of highways and railways, an extensive concentration of warehousing and distribution facilities, as well as a local consumer market.

Congested highways and rail corridors are a barrier to keeping goods moving and the economy growing.  Currently, there are 66 freight trains that pass through Riverside County on a daily basis; that number is projected to increase to 137 by 2035.  Long waits at unimproved rail crossings create quality of life issues; productivity decreases, drivers become frustrated, local commerce suffers and disruptions to public safety and emergency responses occur.

Although growth in goods movement presents significant economic opportunities in terms of increased tax revenues and job creation, it also highlights the need to improve freight infrastructure.  Riverside County serves as a conduit for the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach for transporting goods to areas beyond the state with more than 77 percent of freight being pass-through cargo destined for areas beyond the county line.  Approximately 65 percent of the pass-through freight travels by rail and the remaining 35 percent travels by truck.  This results in having a freight train at most rail crossings at least twice an hour.  Slow freight trains create delays for vehicles at many of the at-grade railroad crossings throughout the county.

The Commission has been proactive in mitigating the negative impacts of goods movement:

  • Twice adopted a Grade Separation Funding Strategy, a one-of-a-kind document in Southern California that provides a blueprint for delivering the 20 highest priority grade separations in Riverside County. Available by clicking here.
  • Secured $162 million in Proposition 1B bond funding to construct 12 grade separations in Riverside County and improve a freeway interchange at I-215 and Van Buren Boulevard.  The Proposition 1B funding will enable 12 of the 20 highest priority grade separations to be constructed by 2016.
  • Identified Alameda Corridor East grade separations as its top legislative platform for the reauthorization of the federal transportation bill.