September 14, 2020
STOCKTON, CA – The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded a $20 Million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant for the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation Project. It is one of two awards to the State of California during the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 cycle and the only rail project in the United States to be selected.
The BUILD grant application was prepared by the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission (SJRRC) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). The $237 million project would improve mobility through the busiest, most congested at-grade rail junction in California. The construction of a grade separation at this at-grade crossing will make this rail infrastructure more efficient and predictable for both current and future use.
“We greatly appreciate the support of Congressman McNerney, the entire Central Valley Congressional Delegation, USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao, FRA Administrator Ronald Batory, and both the BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad for the Stockton Diamond Grade Separation effort,” said Christina Fugazi, Chair of the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission. “Untangling the Diamond will provide immediate benefits to residents of Stockton, support our plans to expand both the ACE commuter rail service and San Joaquins intercity passenger rail service, and improve freight movements throughout the region. We are extremely proud that this was the only rail project in the nation to win a BUILD award.”
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. SJRRC is currently in the planning and environmental phase of its nearly $1 billion “Valley Rail” service expansion program for both the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) and Amtrak San Joaquins. The Valley Rail Program will implement two new daily round-trips for the Amtrak San Joaquins service and extend the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) service between Sacramento and Merced. It also supports converting the San Joaquins train and thruway bus network to renewable diesel fuel and is a key component to improving air quality in the region.
“This critical project will improve both passenger and freight rail while pushing economic growth in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Caltrans Director Toks Omishakin. “The project will help reduce delays, improve air quality and expand access to the Port of Stockton.”
On August 19, 2020, the SJRRC launched the Environmental Review process for the project, in cooperation with the Federal Railroad Administration and the California High Speed Rail Authority. For more information about the project and the environmental process underway, visit stocktondiamond.com.
“This project is a critical step in unlocking freight and passenger rail mobility in Northern California. The Stockton Diamond 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.
Seen as a regional priority, the federal grant application was supported by numerous local and state agencies and organizations. [Click Here to View Supporter List].
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. It is also the managing agency of the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority which manages the Amtrak San Joaquins service. For more information about SJRRC and ACE, visit acerail.com or connect through Facebook (@AltamontCorridorExpress) and Twitter (@ACE_train).