Garden Grove

“Rails to Trails” is moving along

ARTIST’S conception of the Rails to Trails project that could connect Garden Grove to Santa Ana (OCTA),

By Jim Tortolano/Orange County Tribune

The idea of being able to lace up your shoes or hop on your bike to travel to the county seat of Santa Ana from Garden Grove without having to dodge cars, trucks and Amazon delivery vans is beginning to turn from a dream into a real possibility.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Garden Grove City Council, a presentation was made on the proposed “Rails to Trails” project by Charles Larwood, transportation manager  for the Orange County Transportation Authority, that indicated that the agency – and at least some of the funding for the enterprise – is strongly behind it.

“When completed, it would provide excellent active transportation access between the two cities,” he said.

The “Rails to Trails,” as envisioned, would use the existing former Pacific Electric right-of-way (as well as other properties) to create a separate bicycle and pedestrian road that would span from Raitt Street in Santa Ana northwest – crossing the Santa Ana River along an existing former P.E. rail bridge –all the way to Euclid Street in Garden Grove, near the city’s downtown/civic center area.

It’s called “Rails to Trails” because the “trail” would parallel a large portion of the under-construction OCStreetcar route, as well as connect to the Santa Ana Transportation Center rail center.

(The availability of that bridge is pending further approvals).

Already committed is $3 million for preliminary tasks and a consultant is expected to be found by the end of 2022 to begin further work, including investigating how to cross the 10 street intersections along the route. That study is expected to take two years.

From there, “we must find funding for design and construction,” said Larwood, but added that “there’s a lot of money available from the state and federal government.”

2 replies »

  1. Great news! As a 17 year member and current president of the Friends of the Pacific Electric Trail in the Inland Empire I know what wonderful benefits that these rail trails bring to their adjacent communities. Looking forward to seeing its implementation.

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