Truck crashes onto the tracks of the Metro Gold Line on the 210 Freeway in Pasadena is getting costly, officials say. The April 2018 crash of a FedEx truck onto the tracks caused a day’s long shutdown of the Gold Line in San Gabriel Valley and resulted in nearly $140K in damages to the tracks, overhead wires, and power poles. The crash occurred despite a squat concrete barrier that separates the 210 from the Gold Line, and unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident.
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In the six months following the FedEx crash, two more crashes followed. Over the past 10 years, 10 trucks and one sedan have ended up crashing into the Gold Line from the 210. The accidents all occur along a stretch of the 210 that is six miles long where the tracks run into the median. And all but two happened in just the previous 24 months, officials say. This increase in the frequency of this type of crash has authorities stumped. Because more than half of the crashes occurred while the Gold Line was in operation, officials fear that absent a fix, a truck may someday strike a train loaded with passengers.
Preventing crashes like these is likely going to be costly. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is meeting later this month to consider implementing 12 miles of new concrete barriers to shore up the line’s protection from crash situations. An original solution involved just swapping out the barriers on the 210 stretch with taller and more sturdier barriers. However, engineers since decided that the carpool lanes on the 210 would need to be shut down for up to two years to make this fix, triggering a cut-through in Pasadena and causing congestion. The project will cost $22.6 million just in design costs. Construction costs will soar into the millions too.
These concrete barriers have been present since as early as 1969, predating the Gold Line by several decades. The new design for the Gold Line involves installing barriers that are 4 feet 8 inches tall and that have a smoother edge that helps to force wheels away from them and back onto the road.
Community Eager for Change
Gold Line passengers are eager to see the new barriers in place. As it is now, passengers say they are too close to traffic on the 210—so close, in fact, that they can see fast food bags sitting in drivers’ laps as they whiz by. Until the fix is implemented in full, signs have been installed that command truck drivers to keep to the two right-hand lanes and to drive less than 55 miles per hour. Drivers who do not obey the posted signage will be ticketed by California Highway Patrol.
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Reach out to the Law Offices of Howard Craig Kornberg and our Los Angeles attorney if you have been seriously injured in an accident involving a big rig, tractor-trailer, or semi. Our compassionate team is waiting to hear from you. Call 310-997-0904 to set up your free case evaluation.