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Doran Street rail crossing work on hold as Glendale, L.A. continue talks

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An attempt to improve one of the most dangerous railroad crossings along the Glendale-Los Angeles border has hit a speed bump as railroad and city officials negotiate over improvements to another crossing in the San Fernando Corridor.

Glendale officials have been working to improve several crossings in the area, some of which are shared with Los Angeles, so that it can apply for “quiet zone” status. Long desired by nearby neighborhoods, a quiet zone would preclude train engineers from honking horns as typically required at all crossings. But for a stretch of track to achieve quiet-zone status, safety upgrades must be installed.

Last month, an administrative law judge was set to review an agreement between Los Angeles and Glendale that would temporarily limit the dangerous Doran Street crossing to westbound traffic into Los Angeles.

But she put that decision on hold since all sides must still agree on design and construction details along the Los Angeles side of the nearby Broadway/Brazil Street crossing, said Glendale Traffic and Safety Administrator Jano Baghdanian.

Officials expect to iron out those issues in the next month or so, after which they will resubmit their plans to the judge, Baghdanian said. Once the judge approves of the plan for Broadway/Brazil Street, she will make a decision about making Doran Street a one-way crossing.

Officials would like to place a bridge over the crossing in the future, but funding for that project — estimated at roughly $35 million — is still being hammered out. And the California Public Utilities Commission has final say over the projects.

“We’ve been pushing very hard for this to go forward,” Baghdanian said.

The Doran Street crossing has been one of the major holdups as Glendale aims to apply for quiet-zone status from the Federal Railroad Administration.

Glendale is set to complete construction on its side of Broadway/Brazil Street and three other crossings — Chevy Chase Drive, Grandview Avenue and Sonora Avenue — by the fall of 2013 for a combined cost of roughly $13.6 million.

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