THERMAL (CNS) – Plans to shutter a stretch of Avenue 62 in Thermal this week until the end of next month for road work were postponed due to a train derailment, a project spokeswoman said Wednesday.
The roadway was scheduled to close between Highway 111 and state Route 86 starting Thursday to allow for the installation of a new traffic signal and other safety improvements to a nearby intersection.
Project spokeswoman Andrea Suarez said a Union Pacific Railroad train derailed near Glamis, California, which caused a “disruption of railroad schedules” for Union Pacific. Additional information, including when the derailment occurred, was not immediately released.
No new time frame was provided by the Riverside County Department of Transportation for when the work might start up.
The $1 million project, set to convert a four-way stop at the intersection of Highway 111 and Avenue 62 into a signalized intersection, was originally set to wrap up by the end of July.
Project plans call for new crosswalks, street lights, curbs and gutters, with the goal of making the thoroughfare safer.
The first leg of the project will involve Union Pacific Railroad crews installing new railroad tracks just east of the intersection, project manager Scott Gibson said earlier this week.
Once installed, the traffic signal slated for the intersection adjacent to the tracks will communicate with the railroad crossing, which will help reduce traffic congestion, Gibson said.
No new lanes will be added, he said, although the intersection will be widened to make room for the signal.
The project area is along a North American Free Trade Agreement freight corridor, which is expected to continue generating additional truck and train traffic in the coming years, Suarez said.
The thoroughfare is used to move goods from the border with Mexico north to Interstate 10, she said.
On average, 35 trains pass through the area every day, with up to 50 between October and December, Suarez said.