07.23.09

Schiff Helps Secure Funds for Local Infrastructure Projects

Official Seal of the US House of Representatives

Thursday, July 23, 2009 Contact: Sean Oblack (202) 225-4176

Schiff Helps Secure Funds for Local Infrastructure Projects

Funding will help create local jobs

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the House passed the Department of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 3288), which included funding Rep. Schiff helped secure for three local construction projects in the 29th Congressional District.  The three programs will help the region’s economy, relieve congestion, add to the quality of life of local residents, and improve safety. 

“This bill will help create jobs through infrastructure spending and will improve the quality of life in our region,” said Schiff.  “We need to get our economy moving again and projects like these will not only improve our region’s infrastructure, but will also produce local construction jobs.”

The bill included $500,000 for the Alameda Corridor-East in San Gabriel, which will help construct a 2-mile railroad trench for trains to travel underneath roadway bridges in the City of San Gabriel.  The current railway has accounted for three crossing collisions, with one motorist killed in 2002.  Pedestrian safety will also be improved for students at nearby schools.

“Alameda Corridor-East (ACE) Construction Authority is extremely pleased at the assistance Congressman Schiff has given us over the years,” said Rick Richmond, Executive Director ACE Construction Authority.  “We hope that with his support we will be able to begin some early construction before the end of the year which will work to create jobs and improve safety in our community and we thank him for his continued aid.”

The overall project will eliminate an estimated 420 hours of vehicle delay each day at four crossings, the busiest of which, San Gabriel Blvd., carries 37,500 vehicles per day.  It will help improve air quality by cutting hundreds of tons per year of cancer-causing air toxins and greenhouse emissions by eliminating idling cars and trucks at the crossings.

The broader project will create 8,964 jobs and it also received federal funds in the recovery package.  The Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority has already secured commitments of approximately 70% of the project’s cost in non-Federal funds.

The bill also included $400,000 for a renovation and addition project at the Altadena Library.  The Main Altadena Library is 41 years old and in desperate need of repair, renovation, and expansion to provide modern library services.  It is overcrowded and shows the effects of past earthquakes with cracks in the ceilings, concrete slabs, and windows.  It lacks energy efficiency, has antiquated lighting, has encapsulated asbestos throughout which needs removal, and is non-ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant.  In addition, old bookstacks do not meet seismic codes and cannot be retrofitted because of age and welding.  This funding will be used for design and engineering studies as well as construction.  This funding will improve the quality of life for the entire community and will assist the library in continuing providing much needed public services in a safe environment.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the Altadena Library which, as an independent library district, is traditionally wholly dependent on property tax revenue for its funding,” said Dale E. LaCasella, President, Board of Trustees.  “It will be a substantial step toward realizing our goal of making the library fully accessible to all residents.” 

Lastly, Monterey Park will receive $250,000 to widen the on and off ramps of the 60 freeway (SR-60) at Paramount Boulevard to allow for increased vehicular capacity.  The project is vital to relieving traffic congestion along this freeway corridor and providing access to the newly redeveloped Market Place Shopping Center which will improve the local economy in this underdeveloped area of the city.  Paramount Boulevard also provides access to the south side of the City of Monterey Park and the northern portion of the City of Montebello, and as these cities grow, congestion is increasing proportionately. 

“I am grateful for the initiative and hard work by Congressman Adam Schiff in securing the needed funds for the widening of the Paramount Boulevard off-ramp along the 60 freeway which will be the gateway to our new Monterey Park Market Place Shopping Center,” said Monterey Park Mayor Mitchell Ing.  “This project will generate approximately 90 new construction and engineering jobs in our City.  It is good news for the San Gabriel Valley region especially during this slow economic climate.”