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    PCH Detour In Wilmington Begins June 2/03, Runs Thru April '04, To Build Bridge ACTA Says Will Significantly Reduce Traffic Congestion

    (May 30, 2003) -- Traffic on part of PCH in Wilmington will be detoured starting Monday June 2/03 through April 2004 to accommodate construction of a bridge that the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority (ACTA) says will signficantly reduce traffic congestion.

    The half-mile-long bridge will take PCH traffic over the Alameda Corridor rail expressway, a branch rail line and Alameda Street, widening PCH from two lanes to three lanes in each direction and eliminating conflicts between street and train traffic.

    Starting June 2, PCH between the Terminal Island Freeway and Coil Avenue is scheduled for closure...and traffic will be re-routed via the Terminal Island Freeway, Sepulveda Boulevard, Alameda Street, Colon Street and Coil Avenue.

    "Access to all businesses in the construction zone is expected to be maintained at all times," says a release issued on behalf of ACTA, which says the project contractor is required to open the bridge to at least two lanes of traffic in each direction by April '04 with the project fully completed by summer '04.

    The release adds:

    The PCH Grade Separation, a joint ACTA and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) project, calls for a half-mile-long bridge to carry PCH traffic over the Alameda Corridor freight rail expressway, a branch rail line and Alameda Street. The bridge will widen PCH from two lanes to three lanes in each direction and eliminate conflicts between street traffic and train traffic, thereby significantly reducing congestion in the area. Additional benefits include reducing emissions from idling and slow-moving trucks and enhancing public safety by improving access for emergency vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks and police vehicles.

    "Once completed, the PCH Grade Separation will help to ease the traffic congestion that has plagued the streets of Wilmington for years," said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, chairwoman of the ACTA Governing Board, whose district includes the project area. "ACTA has been working closely with the community, especially the Neighborhood Council, to find the best detour route and to minimize the impact of construction on residents. Now we are asking for the patience and understanding of the community while the project is completed."

    ACTA is managing design and construction of the project under a unique agreement with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The $107 million project is funded by Caltrans ($79 million), ACTA ($14 million) and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority ($14 million).

    ACTA, which opened the $2.4 billion Alameda Corridor freight rail expressway on time and on budget in April 2002, became involved with the PCH Grade Separation project at the urging of elected officials when it became clear that the project would not be under construction before the Alameda Corridor opened. It is in the only location along the 20-mile route of the Alameda Corridor where street traffic and rail traffic still conflict.

    The Alameda Corridor is a 20-mile freight rail expressway linking the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach to the transcontinental rail yards near downtown Los Angeles. The ports are the two busiest in the nation, handling more than $200 billion in cargo annually and generating billions of dollars in related economic benefits and jobs. The volume of cargo containers moving through the ports is expected to double in the next 10 years, making it critical to improve the ground transportation system. ACTA is a joint powers authority governed by the cities and ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

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