Corona/McKinley: Q&A's

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As a public service, the City of Corona is providing information to its citizens regarding the proposed McKinley Avenue Grade Separation project.  Listed below are frequently asked questions and answers regarding the proposed project. 

This project is currently in the design stage.  No decision has been made (and may not ever be made) to construct this project.  Nevertheless, the City Council wishes to keep you informed.

Q. Why is the McKinley Grade Separation Project needed?

A. The traffic congestion and delays due to passing trains is going to continue to get worse as longer and more frequent trains pass through McKinley.  The grade separation is necessary to relieve the congestion and provide a safer passage of vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists over passing trains.

Q. Why has the City Council awarded the design of the road over tracks option?

A. Grade separation projects are extremely expensive. The cost to construct the road over the tracks is roughly half as expensive as constructing a below-grade roadway separation.  While City staff is still in pursuit of additional funding for the road over the tracks option, funding for the other option appears to be out of reach.  The most current cost estimates for these options are provided by clicking here.

Q. If the road over tracks option is pursued, what is the estimated height of the bridge for motor traffic, and what is the estimate of clearance for trains and trucks?

A. If the design and construction phases are implemented following the review and approval of the Council at a City Council Meeting, the bridge is likely to be approximately 28 feet high at the highest point.  A minimum clearance of 24 feet is required for trains and approximately 17-18 feet for trucks on Sampson.

Q. What is the next step in the process?

A. The Request for Proposals for right-of-way appraisal and acquisition services for the road over tracks option will be awarded by the City Council.  The design needs to be 30% complete to identify the necessary right-of-way to construct the project so negotiations with property owners and businesses may begin.  The Request for Proposals for project management services for the complete project oversight will also be advertised.  Following a review of the received proposals, the decision to award the project management services contract would be placed on a City Council Meeting agenda.

Q. Will my property or business be needed or impacted by the McKinley Grade Separation Project?

A. Since the design of the McKinley Grade Separation Project is still preliminary, the City has not determined which properties or businesses will be impacted.  You should know, however, that no project can proceed unless and until the City acquires any property needed for the project.  The City is required to follow strict laws, rules and regulations in acquiring property and compensating businesses.  

Q. How will a property or business owner know if and how it is affected by the grade separation project?

A.  The design team will follow applicable laws and regulations related to involving affected property owners and business owners by sharing the design concept and seeking their input to minimize impacts as much as possible.  The right-of-way appraiser and acquisition consultant will also be contacting property and business owners as required by applicable laws to negotiate compensation for impacts to the property and business.

Q. If the design is approved, when is construction anticipated to begin?

A. If the design and construction phases are implemented following the review and approval of the Council at a City Council Meeting, construction would not likely start sooner than early 2021.

Q. How long might construction last?

A. No construction schedule will be known, or available, until after a design is nearly complete.  However, projects like this typically take roughly 26 months to complete.

Q. What is the applicable NEPA/CEQA process?

A. The proposed Project would eliminate an existing grade crossing.  It is therefore anticipated that the Project would be statutorily exempt from compliance with CEQA.  However, in order to help insure that the City is minimizing potential effects on environmental resources, businesses and residents in the area, City staff would prepare and present to the City Council for its consideration several technical studies related to environmental impacts.  The Project has no anticipated federal funds and, as such, would not be subject to NEPA compliance.

Q. Would McKinley or Sampson be closed during construction?

A. If construction of the project is approved, it may be necessary to close these roads for relatively short durations during construction, such as at night or some weekends.  Every effort would be made to accommodate traffic in all directions for most of the duration of the construction period.  Lane reductions would be anticipated for much of the construction period.

Q. Will bicycles and pedestrians be able to pass through the area during construction?

A. Should the project be approved and construction commenced, pedestrian and bike access would be provided during construction in designated corridors.

Q. How would I get to my business on Sampson after the bridge is complete?

A. The City anticipates that the design of the project would incorporate a connector road from McKinley to Sampson for local traffic purposes.

Q. Would there be a bike lane on the bridge?

A. The City anticipates that the design of the project would include “share the road” signs.

Q. Would there be sidewalks on the bridge?

A. The City anticipates that the design of the project would incorporate a sidewalk on the east side of the bridge.

Q. Where can citizens direct comments/concerns/questions?

A. At this time, all questions, concerns, and comments may be emailed to Peter Ramey at


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