The city of Ontario and Los Angeles World Airports have come to an agreement - though not the one you might be thinking.

It's not the agreement that would give Ontario full control of the airport but in the future will benefit motorists traveling to the facility.

The city and airport agency have struck a five-year deal that doles out the responsibilities for the Vineyard Avenue grade separation project.

The plan calls for the Union Pacific Railroad tracks to be elevated with an underpass configuration and a two-track bridge just south of Holt Boulevard.

"They need the access, we need the access, so it's to everyone's benefit. This will provide unfettered access to the airport without delays," said Otto Kroutil, Development Agency director for Ontario.

While Ontario is the lead agency on the project, an agreement was needed with LAWA because the southern portion of the separation project involves airport property.

But the airport isn't the only party involved, city officials had to obtain temporary and permanent easements with property owners on the north side of the tracks, Kroutil said.

Ontario has obtained a $53 million grant for the North Vineyard project. The city will be required to match 20 percent of the costs and Union Pacific will help pay 5 percent of the costs associated with building the bridge, he said.

Officials were required to award the contracts for this project by the end of the year. Construction is estimated to begin by February and the project is estimated to be completed in 18 months to 24 months, Kroutil said.


Advertisement

Once construction begins, Vineyard will be closed to traffic, he said.

According to a report from LAWA. when ONT operated with 6.7 million annual passengers, 25 percent of the traffic that traveled through Vineyard Avenue was en route to the airport.

As part of the agreement, 2.62 acres of airport parking lot and cargo property will become a roadway.

In addition to acquiring the roadway, the project requires removal of vacant buildings in the southwest corner of Airport Drive and Vineyard. The move saves LAWA $915,000.