Construction work on a railroad crossing on the Glendale-Los Angeles border that has been closed for about a year due to project glitches is on track to be complete by September, despite a massive oil spill in May, according to a city of Los Angeles report sent to the California Public Utilities Commission last week.
Roughly 10,000 gallons of oil sprayed into the air and near the Broadway/Brazil Street railroad crossing at San Fernando Road on May 15 after a high-pressure pipe at a nearby property burst, but the incident only minimally impacted construction work for four days, according to the report released Friday.
The Broadway/Brazil Street crossing has been one of many headaches for Glendale officials who are under pressure to apply for a quiet zone in the San Fernando Corridor — which would prevent train engineers from blasting their horns nearly 100 times per day and appease residents of nearby Pelanconi Estates.
In order to apply for a quiet zone from the Federal Railroad Administration, several crossings need safety enhancements. Improvements have already been made to crossings at Grandview, Chevy Chase, Sonora and Fairmont avenues, but Broadway/Brazil Street has faced delays.
While Glendale completed its portion of the work at that crossing, the city had to wait for neighboring Los Angeles to do its share to reopen the crossing. Los Angeles had some funding and design problems at first, but those wrinkles have since been ironed out.
So far, Los Angeles' contractor has installed curbs, gutters, sidewalks, traffic signal poles and portions of wheelchair ramps at the crossing, according to the report. More sidewalk and ramp improvements, striping and new roadway signs are up next.
Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority is still working on alternatives for a new overpass and other road work that would pave the way for the closure of the nearby Doran Street crossing and prepare for the planned California High-Speed Rail.
All traffic crossings along the high-speed route, which is expected to run from San Francisco to Los Angeles in three hours by 2029, will be required to have a flyover for safety.
Glendale has called for the crossing's closure for years, although officials felt push back from their Los Angeles counterparts who argued that shutting down the crossing would negatively impact public safety response to businesses in the industrial area on Los Angeles' side of the tracks.
However, Glendale officials highlight Doran Street's dangerous proximity to a propane facility. Shuttering the Doran Street crossing could increase the chances of getting a quiet zone.
Metro has set aside $40 million for the Doran Street project. A final flyover design is slated to be selected by fall 2015 and construction is set to start in the summer of 2016.