The city has 2 options:
1) Road over Rail – Turn McKinley Street into a Elevated bridge 40′ high and 1/2 mile long to cross over the BNSF railroad tracks. This would condemn many, and devastate all the businesses up and down and around McKinley with up to a 40′ solid concrete wall bridge in front of their businesses and divert the car traffic away from the businesses. City of Corona Public Works Engineer, Linda Bazmi, who is in charge of this project, is greatly in favor of this devastating option and is the city’s “preferred option” as stated in her 4-12-2011 City of Corona McKinley Grade Separation Report.
2) Rail over Road – Elevate the railroad tracks over McKinley Street. This option would have minimal impact on local businesses if any.
The City Council was supposed to vote on this $100M business destroying project last June 28th, but it was vehemently opposed by over 150 local businesses owners and residents who showed up and spoke in protest to the surprise of the entire city council. So the city council decided to delay the vote and “study it further.”
The city Public Works Director, Nelson Nelson, contacted BNSF Railroad in September and was told of unreasonable BNSF demands for the 2nd option which is elevating the “Railroad Over the Road” which would save local businesses and property from eminent domain and many others from closing, including Shell Gas Station, Chuck-E-Cheese, Self-Made Gym, Food 4 Less and Simply Fresh Markets, because McKinley car traffic would be diverted from the 91 freeway off ramp up to 40′ high, over the rail road tracks and 1/2 mile down to Magnolia Avenue.
So the city has quietly waited from September until the start of the holidays to vote on the only option left, which is to elevate McKinley “Road Over Rail” up to 40′ high for 1/2 mile from the 91 freeway to Magnolia Avenue, hoping people would be too busy to show up and protest.
To throw people off even more and not show up, the city council had set the “Study Session” for the day before Thanksgiving, November 22, at 3:30pm. Then suddenly changes it, at the last minute to the following Tuesday, November 28th at 3:45pm. Furthermore, the City of Corona City Council is calling it a “Study Session” instead of a “City Council Meeting” so they do not need to notify by law the businesses and residents that a vote will be taking place as per the Corona City Clerk.
Even the Corona Chamber of Commerce is silent on this business destroying bridge matter because the President of the Corona Chamber, Bobby Spiegel, is the husband of Karen Spiegel, who is a Vice-Mayor/City Council Member and sits on the board of the RCTC who allocated the $84.5M for the bridge project after 10 years of planning.
Senator Richard Roth will also be attending the “Study Session” to push the city council to vote for the business destroying McKinley Bridge. Senator Roth as well as Assemblywoman Sabrina Cervantes were instrumental in getting the $84.5M McKinley Grade Separation project funded by putting it in the Gas Tax Bill SB-132, which was signed by Governor Brown last April. He is upset the city has not started on the project he got $84.5M for and therefore is attending the November 28th “Study Session” to push the city council. The City has 6 years starting from last April to fully complete construction or will lose the $84.5M funding.
Furthermore, there is a recall effort to recall 3 of the 5 City Council Members headed by local Corona resident, Joe Morgan, because the 3 City Council Members, including Mayor Dick Haley, Vice-Mayor Karen Spiegel and Eugene Montanez, did not want to vote down this business and community destroying project option at the June 28th “Study Session.” Only Councilman Randy Fox was ready to vote down turning McKinley Road into a bridge over the railroad tracks. Councilman Jason Scott was not present at the June 28th “Study Session.” Lastly, there is also a recall effort to repeal the SB-132 Gas Tax Bill which funds this project, which may be on the November 2018 ballot.
Stop The McKinley Bridge Coalition
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Source: Stop The McKinley Bridge Coalition