At its meeting last week, the San Bernardino City Council voted to certify the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for BNSF’s proposed gap closure project designed to expedite the flow of trains in and out of its existing San Bernardino Intermodal Facility. The project will improve the facility’s efficiency, with approximately 4.3 miles of new fourth main track in two segments along the current BNSF corridor from the BNSF overpass at State Street/University Parkway to its intermodal facility.
The project will enhance goods movement for this critical BNSF east-west route that connects the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach with the rest of the nation.
“We’re pleased that this project is moving forward, as it reflects our continued commitment to improve efficiency for our customers, while providing important benefits to the local community,” noted Tom Williams, Group Vice President – Consumer Products Business Group.
By eliminating track bottlenecks that forced trains to wait to enter BNSF’s facility, train idling will be reduced by 43%, with commensurate noise and air quality improvements. BNSF is also investing in new and enhanced roadways with new sidewalks and lighting, as well as stormwater, drainage and other improvements that exceed what is required.
Earlier this year, BNSF announced a $3.55 billion 2022 capital investment plan, of which $283 million is allocated to California. This project is part of that commitment and now moves into final design/engineering, with construction expected to be complete by 2024.