The City of Corona’s Public Works Team received an Engineering Excellence Award for their Auto Center Drive Grade Separation Project. Lead by Senior Engineer, Linda Bazmi, the project constructed a four-lane overcrossing above operational Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) railroad tracks, and improves vehicular and pedestrian safety by separating trains from highway and foot traffic.
The overpass was designed with future enhancements in mind and allows for the addition of two more active railroad tracks, which would increase the total rail capacity from two to four tracks. The new overcrossing also benefits daily commuters with improved travel times that are up to 10-15 minutes faster by eliminating the need for motorist to wait for passing trains, which could cause up to 25-minute wait times at the previous at-grade crossing.
“I was honored to participate in the Auto Center Grade Separation ribbon cutting event,” said Eric Linder, Assembly Member, 60th Assembly District. “I cannot count the number of times I’ve been late to a meeting because I got stuck at this crossing.”
A combination of Construction Management and Public Outreach services were implemented to complete the four-lane overcrossing. The technical team helped save the City $1.3 million and reduced the contract time by two months with proposed changes to the staging and construction before the contractor bidding process began and vigilant project oversight throughout construction. The team worked diligently to ensure the busy Auto Center Drive remained open to the traveling public, train services were uninterrupted, and impacts to surrounding businesses and communities were minimized throughout the life of the project.
By the end of the project, the public works team advanced the contract time by two months, maintained zero contractor delays, ensured uninterrupted access to businesses, communicated with over 100 businesses before and during construction, and developed and distributed project maps and detours.