At some time or another, most of us have experienced sitting in our cars at a railroad crossing waiting for what seems like the longest freight train in the world go by. And it always seems to happen when you’re late for an appointment or for once trying to make it home in time for dinner. If you live or work in the San Gabriel Valley, sitting in traffic waiting for the freight-train to go by is likely a daily occurrence.
With vehicle and rail traffic projected to increase, in 1998, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments (SGVCG) decided to do something about the safety and traffic ...
The City of Menlo Park is proceeding with two transportation projects. The first one, an undercrossing to separate bicycles and pedestrians from rail traffic at Middle Avenue, received the green light from the City Council on December 15. The City has committed $210,000 and has authorized staff to apply for an additional $490,000 in San Mateo County Measure A sales tax funds to pay for preliminary engineering work on the project. The City estimates that the design and construction of the undercrossing will cost approximately $11 million.
The City’s second project is the Ravenswood ...
As we have reported in the past, public agencies are often faced with deadlines to secure possession of necessary right of way and ensure project funding. Given the amount of time it takes to secure possession through the court process, agencies must proceed with condemnation actions even where they need additional time to negotiate with property owners. Delaying the condemnation action for several additional months, while likely to lead to a settlement, ultimately places the project at risk if no deal is reached and thereby forces the agency's hand. This is exactly what ...
Money is once again being allocated to improve public infrastructure in California. The California Transportation Commission announced this week the award of $487 million to various projects throughout the state. Included are:
- San Bernardino Associated Governments' (SANBAG) Lenwood Road Railroad Grade Separation Project in the City of Barstow.
- Orange County Transportation Authority's (OCTA) Lakeview Avenue Grade Separation Project in the City of Placentia.
- The Richmond Rail Connector for a new route between San Pablo and Richmond.
- Several Caltrans State Highway ...
As we mentioned in our recent 2012 Eminent Domain Year in Review, we've seen a boom of infrastructure projects in California -- a trend we expect to continue into the near future. So what exactly are we talking about? Here's just a few examples:
- California Transportation Commission's $64 Million Allocation: According to a Caltrans press release, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) recently allocated $64 million to 43 projects that will reduce traffic congestion and repair highways, local streets, and bridges. You can find a list of the projects ...
The City of Fremont announced that it plans to condemn a small, 1,249 square foot property located at the corner of Warren Avenue and Kato Road in order to facilitate its Warren Avenue Grade Separation Project.
There's nothing particularly notable about the announcement, except for a potential regulatory overlay. The parcel is apparently owned by AT&T Communications, and even though the property currently lies vacant, AT&T is apparently taking the position that it cannot agree to any deal with the City without first obtaining approval from the California Public Utilities ...
According to an article in the Valley News, "Riverside public hearing to consider eminent domain for bridge on Iowa Ave.," the Riverside City Council is contemplating using eminent domain to complete the Iowa Grade Separation Project.
In order to (1) build the 500-foot long bridge over railroad tracks on Iowa Avenue and (2) construct necessary northbound and southbound ramps, the Project requires the acquisition of portions of seven properties on Iowa Avenue between Palmyrita Avenue and Spring Street.
The City has already begun negotiations with the owners ...
According to the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority's ("ACE") Spring Newsletter (which was published yesterday), ACE plans to start construction of three major grade separation projects this year. The three projects include:
- The Baldwin Avenue grade separation project in El Monte, which involves creating a roadway underpass beneath the Union Pacific Railroad tracks at the Baldwin Avenue crossing;
- The Nogales Street grade separation project in the City of Industry, which involves lowering Nogales Street 20 feet below the railroad tracks; and
- The San Gabriel ...
The Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority ("ACE") is working on a $75 million project to improve rail service in the San Gabriel Valley. The project involves constructing a rail underpass on Baldwin Avenue in El Monte, and it is part of a larger, $1.1 billion project that includes 20 grade separations.
ACE has acquired nearly all of the right of way for the Baldwin Avenue underpass, but one owner, Fred Jast, has not moved. According to a recent San Gabriel Valley Tribune article by Rebecca Kimitch, "El Monte man fights eminent domain claim," Mr. Jast has been fighting with ACE for several years:
"They have the right to take my property, but they don't have the right to steal my property," Jast, 69, said.
While the article describes gaining possession of Mr. Jast's property as "one of the last hurdles ACE faces before construction can begin," the Baldwin Avenue underpass is only part of the larger project. ACE plans another, similar underpass in 2010 on Nogales Street South between Gale and San Jose in the City of Industry. The Nogales Street (South) underpass will cost $84.1 million. ACE will need to acquire a number of parcels for that part of the project.
Other phases of the project are planned for 2011, including the $499-million San Gabriel Trench, and the Ramona Street, Mission Road, Del Mar Avenue, and San Gabriel Boulevard grade separations in San Gabriel.
California Eminent Domain Report is a one-stop resource for everything new and noteworthy in eminent domain in California. We cover all aspects of eminent domain in California, including condemnation, inverse condemnation, and regulatory takings. We also keep track of current cases, project announcements, budget issues, legislative reform efforts, and report on all major California eminent domain conferences and seminars.