Bridge Over Thermal Railroad Crossing Opens to Traffic

News Release


Jun 20

Bridge Over Thermal Railroad Crossing Opens to Traffic Official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Scheduled June 29

THERMAL – A new overpass, built to improve traffic and safety at the intersection of Airport and Grapefruit boulevards in Thermal, is completed and was open to traffic Monday morning.

Supervisor John J. Benoit and the Riverside County Transportation Department invite the public to attend the ribbon cutting, to be held at 9 a.m. June 29. The event will take place at the U.S. Post Office in Thermal, 87 200 Airport Blvd.

“The completion of this beautiful bridge is exciting for the Thermal community and visitors who will benefit from this much-needed improvement to traffic and safety,” said Supervisor John J. Benoit. “This project, one of the most significant transportation investments in the eastern Coachella Valley, is transformative for Thermal, an area primed to be epicenter of future development in our rapidly growing county.”

The Airport Boulevard/Grapefruit Boulevard Grade Separation Project constructed a four-lane bridge, raising Airport Boulevard over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and Grapefruit Boulevard in Thermal. Construction of the $29.5 million project began in March 2014.

Diverting traffic around the railroad crossing eliminates the wait for lengthy trains to pass. It improves rail safety, mobility, air quality, response times by emergency vehicles as well as makes the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport more accessible and vital from a business and economic standpoint.

The project was funded from $12.8 million in state Proposition 1B Trade Corridor Improvements funds, $11.9 million in local funds as the local share from the Coachella Valley Association of Governments, $4 million from county redevelopment funds and $782,000 from utility companies.

The bridge incorporates aesthetic features, including Thermal community logo signs on the bridge railing and airplane silhouettes that highlight the area’s longtime association with aviation and the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport, a vital economic development asset for the county, the community of Thermal and the eastern Coachella Valley.

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