On any given day, 100 trains can cross the tracks at Glen Helen Parkway in San Bernardino County—making them some of the busiest in the country. This posed a nuisance for concertgoers and recreational users at nearby San Manuel Amphitheater and Glen Helen Regional Park. Worse, it endangered lives as emergency response units and the local traveling public sometimes waited 15 minutes to cross the tracks.
Harris & Associates helped eliminate these hazards by managing the construction of a grade separation bridge project over the existing at grade railroad crossings. The completed first phase raised the road 45 feet to provide unimpeded vehicle access across two sets of tracks. Harris & Associates provided the construction management and contract administration for everything from utility relocations to traffic management during construction.
The $16 million construction project not only raised the road above the at grade crossings, it also widened the road from two lanes to four. The project core elements included:
- A new grade separation bridge constructed over both the UPRR and BNSF railroads, using mechanical stabilized embankment retaining structures at the bridge abutments
- A new detention basin to accommodate on-site drainage
- New sidewalks, bike lanes and fencing
- A decomposed granite horse trail
- Signing and lighting improvements
Beyond the Blueprints
In addition to providing unobstructed passage for the Freight Goods Movement for both the Union Pacific and BNSF Railway lines, the grade separation connects the community to the nearby Glen Helen Regional Park and San Manuel Amphitheater. As concert goers and emergency responders breathe a sigh of relief, nature lovers can enjoy a breath of fresh air as the district prepares to promote activities such as camping, fishing and horseback riding there.