Jubilation continues over the opening of the new Colton Crossing. Chief among the revelers is the Union Pacific Railroad, which had to bear the brunt of the delays during the existence of the previous at-grade crossing. Burlington Northern Santa Fe operates the crossing, which in turn gave priority to its own trains, leaving UPRR trains waiting before they start their trek across the country. The project was completed thanks to a coalition of public and private interests that cooperated during the conception, construction and completion of the project, eight months ahead of schedule and more than $100 million under budget. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Proposition 1B funds were used to build the project.
However, Union Pacific’s contributions to similar projects have come into question. Much of the Alameda Corridor East project, for example, would benefit tracks owned by Union Pacific. State law requires the railroad to pay up to 10% of the cost of a grade separation, with the rest borne by taxpayers. Critics contend that UPRR’s contribution is much smaller, to about 2%. One notable example is the Nogales Street underpass in Industry currently under construction. While this particular project would cost $110.5 million, UPRR is expected to contribute just $2.2 million. In response, newly installed UPRR CEO Jack Koraleski met with San Gabriel Valley officials and lawmakers to address these concerns.