Fresno to get $28 million to replace Veterans Blvd. railroad crossing

The Fresno BeeDecember 5, 2013 

Conceptual view of high speed rail.

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The city of Fresno will receive up to $28 million in help from the California High-Speed Rail Authority to replace a railroad crossing set for closure because of the bullet-train line.

The rail agency, meeting Thursday in Sacramento, authorized a cooperative agreement with the city for work on a new Veterans Boulevard overpass above the existing Union Pacific Railroad freight line and the proposed high-speed train tracks in northwest Fresno. Under the terms of the agreement, the new overpass will replace Carnegie Avenue, which is now an at-grade crossing for nearby residents to reach Golden State Boulevard. Carnegie would be closed because of the high-speed rail project.

Diana Gomez, the rail authority's regional director for the Central Valley, said the state expects to pick up the tab for about $28 million for construction of the Veterans Boulevard overpass, while the city will be responsible for about $9 million for environmental studies, engineering, buying right of way for the new overpass, and relocating utilities.

The Fresno City Council approved the agreement in September.

The new overpass will tie in with work the rail authority is already planning to realign a portion of Golden State Boulevard to make way for the high-speed train tracks, which are proposed to run just west of, and parallel to, the Union Pacific freight tracks through northwest and west-central Fresno.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6319, tsheehan@fresnobee.com or @tsheehan on Twitter.

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