SJRRC Launches Environmental Review for Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project

 

San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission
Launches Environmental Review for
Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project

 

Expanding commuter and intercity passenger rail service in Northern California to further link the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento and Bay Area

Stockton, CA – On Wednesday, August 19, the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) officially launched the environmental review process for Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project with a Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)/ (EIR)/Environmental Assessment (EA) and Virtual Public Scoping Meetings. As the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Lead Agency, SJRRC is working in cooperation with the California High Speed Rail Authority (National Environmental Policy Act Lead Agency), under delegation by the Federal Railroad Administration.

“This project is a critical step in unlocking freight and passenger rail mobility in Northern California and we are excited to be at this phase of project development. The grade separation will fix one of the most congested rail corridors, enhance safety, reduce emissions and provide faster, more reliable passenger rail options for our riders.” said Kevin Sheridan, SJRRC Director of Capital Projects and the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project Manager.

WHAT’S INVOLVED

A collaboration between SJRRC and the private entities BNSF Railway (BNSF) and Union Pacific Railroad (UP) as well as regional partner agencies, the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation project proposes to identify feasible project concepts that will separate the two rail lines with what is called a flyover bridge at the Stockton Diamond.

This rail intersection, located just south of Downtown Stockton has been identified as the busiest, most congested at-grade rail junction in California resulting in significant congestion and delays for both freight and passenger rail.

The proposed project is a critical element in SJRRC’s vision to expand intercity and commuter rail service between the San Joaquin Valley, Sacramento and the Bay Area. The project aims to improve rail efficiency and reliability by reducing conflicting train movements on shared-use rail corridors, enhance safety and improve access for City of Stockton residents through roadway improvements at multiple roadway/railway grade crossings. The grade separation will reduce greenhouse gas buildup caused by transit congestion or train/vehicle idling at the railway/roadway crossings near the Stockton Diamond. Lastly, it will also facilitate future passenger rail service expansion for Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) and Amtrak San Joaquins, supporting faster, more reliable passenger rail travel to key destinations in Northern California.

SJRRC Manager of Regional Initiatives, Dan Leavitt, stated “While most transit agencies across the country are experiencing low ridership due to COVID-19, there is still a need to plan for future mobility as Northern California’s population continues to rise. As essential travel options between affordable housing and employment centers within the Central Valley, Sacramento and Bay Area, ACE carried 1.5 million passengers and San Joaquins carried over 1 million passengers in 2019 alone.” Mr. Leavitt further states that SJRRC understands the need to stay nimble in these unprecedented times while also preparing for a healthy future.

LEARN MORE AT UPCOMING MEETINGS

As an initial step within the CEQA process, project scoping, allows SJRRC to seek public and stakeholder input on the environmental scope of the project. To provide convenient participation in a safe environment while social distancing, SJRRC is hosting three virtual meetings during the project’s 45-day public comment period to allow attendees to learn about the project, interact with project team members, ask questions and submit formal comments.

Virtual Public Scoping Meetings

English Virtual Meeting  #1 English Virtual Meeting #2 Spanish Virtual Meeting #3
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020

6-7:30 p.m.

·        WebEx: bit.ly/SD_Public_Meeting1

·        Dial-in #: 408-418-9388

Code: 146 995 3665

Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020

2-3:30 p.m.

·        WebEx: bit.ly/SD_Public_Meeting2

·        Dial-in #: 408-418-9388

Code: 146 662 8153

Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020

6-7:30 p.m.

·        WebEx: bit.ly/SD_Public_Meeting3

·        Dial-in #: 408-418-9388

Code: 146 356 6775

For additional accessibility preferences, please call (209) 235-0133 or email info@stocktondiamond.com. For the deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired (TDD) users may contact the California Relay Service TTY and/or Voice Line at 1-800-735-2929, or 711.

SUBMITTING COMMENTS

Suggestions and comments on the scope and content of the EIR/EA are invited from all interested parties for a period of 45 days (August 19-October 3 by 5:00 p.m. PST). Written or verbal comments concerning the proposed project’s environmental scope should be submitted via the following options.

Website:          stocktondiamond.com

Email:              info@stocktondiamond.com

Telephone:      (209) 235-0133

Mail:    c/o Public Outreach

2379 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 200

Sacramento, CA 95833

 ABOUT SJRRC:

Governed by a Board of Directors consisting of six full-voting members from San Joaquin County and two special-voting members from Alameda County, SJRRC owns, operates and is the policy-making body for the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) service, which has been transporting passengers between the Central Valley and Bay Area since 1999. For more information about SJRRC and ACE, visit acerail.com or connect through Facebook (@AltamontCorridorExpress) and Twitter (@ACE_train).

LEARN MORE ABOUT STOCKTON DIAMOND PROJECT:

Visit stocktondiamond.com, email info@stocktondiamond.com or call (209 235-0133.

 

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