Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-9) announced on Monday, Sept. 14 that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has awarded the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), in conjunction with the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC), a $20 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant. The funding will be used to help construct the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation project – the only rail project in the United States to be selected for BUILD grant funding for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 cycle.
The Stockton Diamond is the busiest, most congested at-grade railway junction in California. This grant funding will allow SJRRC to leverage state funds to construct a grade separation to improve safety on the freight network, increase the efficiency of freight and passenger rail movement, provide improved access from the Port of Stockton to national and worldwide markets, and facilitate continued economic growth and competitiveness in the greater-Central Valley and San Francisco Bay areas. Currently, passenger and freight trains must stop often to allow a train to cross on the other mainline. The vertical separation of these lines, somewhat like a freeway interchange, will allow trains on the north-south and east-west main lines to cross without stopping, while still providing access between them.
“I congratulate the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission for being awarded this competitive grant and for their tireless efforts to improve rail service for our region,” said Congressman McNerney. “The Commission’s Stockton Diamond Grade Separation project will make goods and passenger movement more efficient along the West Coast, and the San Joaquin Valley a more attractive place to do business. It will also have a positive effect on Stockton’s air quality by eliminating the need for locomotives to idle as they wait for crossing trains. I am proud to have helped secure funding for this important project, and I am pleased that the Department of Transportation recognizes our region’s vital importance to our nation’s transportation network.”
Tens of thousands of residents of the San Joaquin Valley and Northern California rely on the Amtrak San Joaquin and Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) passenger services as their main source of transportation. Construction of the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation will help reduce traffic congestion and delays for these vital passenger rail services, improve on-time performance, and support future expansion of both services. The project also includes bike, pedestrian, and roadway improvements at 10 at-grade local road crossings in the City of Stockton, significantly increasing public safety for local residents.
Congressman McNerney sent a letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support of the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission’s application for BUILD funding for the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation project.
McNerney serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney.