City of Rialto moves to restore historic building on Riverside Ave. as part of the future Pacific Electric Trail extension

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Photos courtesy City of Rialto: A photo of the Depot as it exists today.

As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to improve connectivity through the region, and provide meaningful active transportation options, the City of Rialto applied to the state of California for an Active Transportation Program grant in the amount of $7.8 million to extend the Pacific Electric Trail, the multi-use path that currently ends at Cactus Ave. Orange County Lumber recently closed and was the sole operator of trains delivering lumber along the rail line that exists east of Cactus Ave., and with its closure the City may now pursue extension of this important recreational amenity through Rialto’s historic downtown that will also include restoration of the former Pacific Electric Railway Depot, located at 119 N. Riverside Ave., owned by the City and currently under month-to-month lease by Cuca’s Mexican Food restaurant.

In June 2023, the City anticipates award of the $7.8 million grant that will fund the extension of the Pacific Electric Trail. This new 1.75-mile extension of the multi-use recreational path along the historic Pacific Electric Railway corridor will provide important and safe access for our community to several destinations through the heart of Rialto, as well as provide a critical connection to other existing outdoor recreational areas along the corridor.

The City of Rialto plans to restore and revitalize the historic Pacific Electric Railway Depot that has been occupied under lease by Cuca’s Mexican Food restaurant for many years. Designed by Thornton Fitzhugh, this historic Depot was the main downtown terminal for the Pacific Electric railroad.

The Depot was one of several constructed along the Pacific Electric Railway including one constructed in Alta Loma as shown in this historic photo from 1937.

The catalyst to restore the Depot came out of community feedback during the project development for the Pacific Electric Trail extension where residents expressed a desire to provide recreational amenities associated with the Trail including parking and restrooms. The historic Depot, once restored, will serve as a destination and heritage site for all users of the Pacific Electric Trail and is anticipated to include a museum, recreational space with coffee shop or similar uses.

In anticipation of the conversion of Cuca’s Mexican Food restaurant to the historic Depot, the City has provided notice to Cuca’s of its intention to resume occupancy of the City’s building for this purpose. The City is proactively coordinating with Cuca’s on a transition of its operations to another site, and Cuca’s will continue operations through February 2023.

For more information on the plans to extend the Pacific Electric Trail and the restoration of the historic Depot, please visit www.yourrialto.com/petrail or contact our Engineering Services Department at 909-421-4999.