Passons Boulevard Grade Separation

New underpass improves safety, flow and satisfaction

Residents of one Pico Rivera community no longer contend with dangerous rail crossings, inconvenient delays and loud train whistles. Traffic now flows smoothly, drivers and pedestrians have safer passage, and everyone enjoys a visually appealing artistic asset.

It’s all due to the Passons Boulevard Grade Separation—the largest single project undertaken by the City of Pico Rivera. Harris provided full project and construction management services for the City, including:

  • Securing funding (E-76)
  • Providing design oversight
  • Implementing pre-construction (biddability/constructability) reviews
  • Conducting community outreach

The primary construction involved the underpass structure to direct north-south vehicular and pedestrian traffic on Passons Boulevard under the current Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway. This enabled the City to close two dangerous at-grade crossings for one relatively low cost.

Core Elements

The $43 million project improvements included:

  • Construction of a composite steel and concrete underpass structure for Passons Boulevard
  • Public utility relocations of domestic water, sewer, storm drain, electric and natural gas
  • Demolition of existing buildings and structures
  • Conversion of an existing thru-street roadway to a dead-end configuration
  • Installation of fixed public improvements, including concrete curbs, gutters, sidewalks and asphalt-concrete pavement
  • Placement of a temporary two-track, “shoo-fly” railway detour

To help guide the project to completion within the estimated budget, Harris used a proactive management approach, which included weekly project meetings, management of all documents and payments, P3 schedule packages and ongoing constructability reviews.

Beyond the Blueprints

This project’s success hinged as much on building relationships as it did building an underpass. Given the work’s high-profile nature and its dramatic effect on residents’ daily lives, Harris made sure to emphasize communication throughout.

We literally joined the community—establishing our construction office inside a home purchased by the City. Neighbors stopped by for information and renderings of the finished product. We held meetings to share updates on detours and traffic patterns. Residents knew they had a forum where they could voice their concerns—and a partner willing to listen.

Meet the Team

Vijay Desai, PE, QSD/P

Vijay Desai, PE, QSD/P

Senior Director / Program + Construction Management


City of Pico Rivera


Pico Rivera, CA


Rail + Transit


Construction Management