Sunset Avenue Grade Separation

Moving people more quickly—and safely

The railroad crossing at Sunset Avenue in Banning, California was as inconvenient as it was hazardous. Pedestrian and vehicle traffic alike would grind to a halt for passing trains. Harris & Associates is helping to bring significant improvements to this once noisy, congested and dangerous intersection.

The new Sunset Avenue Grade Separation lowered the street beneath the train tracks so both the road and rails can accommodate unimpeded traffic simultaneously. Harris & Associates provided complete construction management services for this vital project, including:

  • Construction management
  • Bridge, roadway, utilities, traffic signal and electrical, landscape and irrigation inspection services
  • Environmental oversight and coordination
  • Claims support
  • Budget management
  • Scheduling and cost controls
  • Construction administration
  • Document control

Our third-party coordination with the agencies involved included Caltrans, the County of Riverside, Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR), the City of Banning, City Electric, City Water, Verizon, MCI and Southern California Gas.

Core Elements

The project required the lowering of Sunset Avenue to create sufficient vertical clearance between the roadway and existing railroad tracks. This entailed:

  • Constructing an all-new railroad bridge
  • Rebuilding the newly lowered Sunset Avenue to maintain two existing through lanes in each direction—with added sidewalks for pedestrian circulation
  • Reconstructing the on/off ramps at the I-10/Sunset Avenue interchange to accommodate the change in elevation
  • Constructing a temporary shoo-fly track within the UPRR right of way
  • Improving drainage and discharge storm water
  • Underground Utility relocation including electrical transmission, communication, potable and recycled water, gas and sewer lines

Beyond the Blueprints

Keeping cars and trains running smoothly required equally smooth coordination with utilities and Caltrans. This was especially important during Stage 1 and 2 of the project, which depended upon Caltrans approval and the timely relocating of utilities. The Harris team worked extra hard to ensure that this vital transportation project stuck to its demanding timetable.


Meet the Team

Vijay Desai, PE, QSD/P

Vijay Desai, PE, QSD/P

Vice President / Program + Construction Management


County of Riverside Transportation Department


Banning, CA


Rail + Transit


Construction Management