Railroad Construction

LOS ANGELES (AP) A plan to build a high-speed train between southern California and Las Vegas got a boost after the rail company in charge of the project received permission to build along Interstate 15. XpressWest entered into a lease agreement with the California Department of Transportation to construct the rail line on I-15's median, Caltrans announced in a news release.

Brightline began talks in late May with Miami-Dade County to build five train platforms between Miami and Aventura and launch a $425 million commuter-rail system as the for-profit rail company plans to launch express trains to Orlando in the coming years.

In late May, as part of the larger construction of the new high-speed Virgin Trains rail line through Brevard County, crews closed the railroad crossing at Prospect Avenue in Melbourne for two years to build new twin bridges spanning Crane Creek. Since the beginning of the year, Virgin Trains has worked to put down tracks in several parts of the city, including along heavily used roads such as New Haven Boulevard and Strawbridge Avenue in Melbourne, which split the downtown area.

Since 2018, a luxurious passenger train service has been transporting people between downtown Miami and West Palm Beach, with a stop in Fort Lauderdale. The Brightline trains have proven to be popular with business passengers and tourists alike, as they are a faster alternative to the often-congested highways of South Florida.

On March 18, 2020, the Ohio Rail Development Commission (ORDC) approved a grant award in the amount of $735,882 to Ashland Railway (ASRY) to expand its Mansfield Yard and perform a rail test and identified repairs along its Willard Line. This more than $1.4 million project will involve the installation of approximately 3,000 ft.

Construction crews drilled the first shafts last fall for the $1.2 billion phase one of the Chicago Transit Authority's $2.1 billion Red-Purple Modernization Program, the largest capital improvement project in the agency's history. The program will modernize train service on a 9.6-mi.

A groundbreaking ceremony in June kicked off construction of the Clinton, Conn., rail station addition that is projected for completion in January 2021. The $12.5-million project adds a new platform on the north side of the tracks, an "up-and-over" pedestrian bridge/elevator connecting both sides, a ramp to the new platform, a bike shelter and some additional parking.

The Green Line extension is among the most significant expansions undertaken by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in decades. Work is on schedule to open for revenue service by December 2021 and at this point on the more than $2 billion project, approximately 20 percent of it is completed.

Sound Transit and its partners celebrated the start of construction of the 3.4-mi. Downtown Redmond Link Extension, which will extend the Blue Line from Redmond Technology Station into southeast Redmond to its terminus in downtown Redmond. Upon opening in 2024 riders will enjoy fast, frequent and reliable service between the Eastside and Seattle, the University of Washington, Sea-Tac Airport and south Snohomish County.

Construction crews are at work on a southeastern Los Angeles County project that, when completed, is expected to save 15.3 vehicle delay hours daily. The $105.5 million Alameda East-Corridor (ACE) Durfee Avenue Grade Separation Project will separate the roadway and the railroad tracks on Durfee Avenue in the City of Pico Rivera.

Construction began in mid-July for the $34 million, design-build Willmar Wye project, an initiative led by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) and its partners — Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), city of Willmar, Kandiyohi County and the Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission.