Ballona Creek is an 8.8-mile-long waterway in southwestern Los Angeles County, whose watershed drains the Los Angeles basin, from the Santa Monica Mountains on the north, the Harbor Freeway on the east, the Baldwin Hills on the south. It heads in the historical Rancho Las Cienegas and flows through Culver City and the Del Rey district before emptying into Santa Monica Bay between Marina del Rey and the Playa del Rey district. During the Pre-Columbian era, Tongva people existed as hunters and gatherers in small villages throughout the Ballona Creek watershed and other parts of the Los Angeles basin. Native American culture and land management practice was disrupted by the arrival of Spanish explorers. In 1769, the Tongva met their first Europeans. Continuing west after crossing the Los Angeles River, diarist Fray Juan Crespi noted that the party "came across a grove of large alders...from which flows a stream of water... The water flowed afterwards in a deep channel towards the southwest". Researchers identified the place as the headwaters of Ballona Creek.
The explorers made camp nearby on August 3. Around 1820, a mestizo rancher named Augustine Machado began grazing his cattle on the Ballona wetlands and claimed a fourteen-thousand acre Mexican land grant that stretched from modern-day Culver City to Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California. Ballona Creek and Lagoon are named for the Ballona or Paseo de las Carretas land grant, dated November 27, 1839; the Machado and Talamantes families, co-grantees of the rancho, heralded from Baiona in northern Spain. After the land grant claims were lost, the area experienced rapid growth, with open land being transformed into agricultural use; the Ballona Creek watershed totals about 130 square miles. Its land use consists of 64% residential, 8% commercial, 4% industrial, 17% open space; the major tributaries to the Ballona Creek and Estuary include Centinela Creek, Sepulveda Canyon Channel and Benedict Canyon Channel. At the time of Spanish settlement, the Los Angeles River turned to the west just south of present-day Bunker Hill, joining Ballona Creek just to the west of its current channel.
However, during a major flood in 1825, the Los Angeles River's course changed to its present channel, Ballona Creek became a distinct waterway. Much of the above-ground section of the creek was lined with concrete as part of the flood-control project undertaken by the United States Army Corps of Engineers following the Los Angeles Flood of 1938. Ballona Creek Watershed climate can be characterized as Mediterranean with average annual rainfall of 15 inches per year over most of the developed portions of the watershed; the flow rate in the Creek varies from a trickle flow of about 14 cubic feet per second during dry weather to 71,400 cubic feet per second during a 50-year storm event. Ballona Wetlands and Del Rey Lagoon are connected to the Ballona Estuary through tide gates. From northern source to southern mouth: Begins at South Cochran Avenue South Burnside Avenue Hauser Boulevard Thurman Avenue South Fairfax Avenue Interstate 10 La Cienega Boulevard Washington Boulevard National Boulevard north Expo Line National Boulevard south Higuera Street Duquesne Avenue Overland Avenue Westwood Boulevard Sepulveda Boulevard Sawtelle Boulevard Interstate 405 - San Diego Freeway Sepulveda Channel enters Inglewood Boulevard South Centinela Avenue State Route 90 Centinela Creek enters Lincoln Boulevard/State Route 1 Culver Boulevard Pacific Avenue The historic wetland complex at the mouth of Ballona Creek occupied about 2000 acres.
Although much of it was drained and developed, a portion remains protected. The State of California owns 600 acres of the former wetlands. Much of these preserved lands are designated as the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve and despite historic degradation, conditions are improving. Wetland flora includes pickleweed, marsh heather, saltgrass and glasswort, a variety of upland and exotic species including brome, iceplant and ryegrass. Bird species of special interest observed in the reserve include nesting pairs of Belding's Savannah sparrow and foraging use by California least terns; the urbanization of the watershed, associated with it the pollution of urban runoff and stormwater, has degraded the water quality in Ballona Creek and its Estuary. Ballona Creek is listed by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board impaired for fecal coliform, heavy metals, pesticides. Dry weather urban runoff and storm water, both conveyed by storm drains, are the primary sources of pollutions in the Creek.
Many national, historical and cultural landmarks, tourist attractions, educational institutions and industries exist in Ballona Creek Watershed. With year-round Mediterranean climate, the area attracts immigrants and visitors from all over the world making Ballona Creek Watershed a vibrant melting pot of culture. A bike path that extends seven miles from National Boulevard in Culver City to the end of Ballona Creek Estuary provides oppo
Washington Boulevard (Los Angeles)
Washington Boulevard is an east-west arterial road in Los Angeles County, California spanning a total of. Its western terminus is the Pacific Ocean just west of Pacific Avenue and straddling the border of the Venice Beach and Marina Peninsula neighborhoods of Los Angeles; the Boulevard extends eastbound to the city of Whittier, at Whittier Boulevard. It is south of Venice Boulevard for most of its length. At Wade Street, Washington Place is formed adjacent and parallel and lasts until just east of Sepulveda Boulevard, where it merges back into Washington Boulevard. Washington merges into Culver Boulevard but forms back into its own street at Canfield Avenue. Washington Boulevard, four lanes passes through locations in the mid southern portion of Los Angeles County; the communities to the west include affluent areas such as Ladera Heights. Further east it passes between Crestview and Culver City and through Mid City, Arlington Heights, Pico Union, City of Commerce, Pico Rivera, Los Nietos and Whittier.
Washington Boulevard is the dividing line between Venice and the Los Angeles neighborhood of Marina Peninsula which sits south of the Boulevard from the Pacific Ocean to Via Marina drive. East of Via Marina is the unincorporated area of Marina del Rey. In 1905, when the road was known as Washington Street, it boasted the headquarters of the local horse driving club, for a mile west of Western Avenue. "The road is not of the best," reported the Los Angeles Times, "and automobiles are usurping it... but it is the nearest approach to a speedway the reinsmen have, they therefore make the most of it." Mayor Owen McAleer "has set aside that stretch of the highway to those drivers who delight in vying with each other off the racetrack, policemen have been given to understand that some latitude is to be allowed horsemen there." Washington Boulevard provides bus service between Venice Beach and West LA Transit Center by Culver City Transit line 1, between West LA Transit Center and Downtown by Metro Local line 35, east of Downtown by Montebello Transit line 50.
A portion of the Metro Blue line runs along Washington Boulevard, from Flower Street to Long Beach Avenue, while the Metro Expo Line serves a rail station near the intersection with National Boulevard. The entire route is in Los Angeles County. There are no postmiles because the street is maintained by not Caltrans. Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery LA Trade Tech College is located at Grand Avenue near the Blue Line station of the same name; the RPM International building is located on the corner of Westmorland Blvd. and Washington Blvd., dedicated as the "Ray Charles Square". The Ray Charles Post Office at La Brea Avenue. Government center named after Jr.. City Council member, 1973–87 West Adams Preparatory High School is located on Vermont Avenue and Washington Blvd
Santa Clara River (California)
The Santa Clara River is 83 miles long, is one of the most dynamic river systems in Southern California. The river drains parts of four ranges in the Transverse Ranges System north and northwest of Los Angeles flows west onto the Oxnard Plain and into the Santa Barbara Channel of the Pacific Ocean; the watershed has provided habitat for a wide array of native plants and animals and has supplied humans with water and fertile farmland. The northern portion of the watershed was home to the Tataviam people while the southern portion was occupied by the Chumash people. Much of the Santa Clara River Valley is used for agriculture which has limited the use of structural levees to separate the natural floodplain from the river. Although it is one of the least altered rivers in Southern California, some levees exist where the river flows through areas of significant urban development; the Santa Clara River was named the Rio de Santa Clara on August 9, 1769 by the Portolá expedition on the march north from San Diego to found a mission at Monterey, to honor Saint Clare of Assisi who died on August 11, 1253.
The Santa Clara River Valley was known as the Cañada de Santa Clara. The Santa Clara-Mojave River Ranger District of the Angeles National Forest is named after the Santa Clara River; the failure and near complete collapse of the St. Francis Dam took place in the middle of the night on March 12, 1928; the dam was holding a full reservoir of 12.4 billion gallons of water that surged down San Francisquito Canyon and emptied into the river. The Santa Clara River's headwaters take drainage from the northern slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains near the Angeles Forest Highway, inside the western part of the Angeles National Forest, its largest fork, Aliso Canyon, forms the primary headstream. These branches combine into the broad wash of the main stem near the town of Acton which flows west through Soledad Canyon, crossing under California State Route 14 near the town of Canyon Country; the Sierra Pelona Mountains on the north provide additional seasonal tributaries. The river receives Bouquet Creek, Placerita Creek, San Francisquito Creek within the City of Santa Clarita.
The riverbed surface remains dry most of the year here, except on extreme occasions of heavier than average rainfall. The river crosses west under Interstate 5 and receives Castaic Creek from the right. After the Castaic Creek confluence, the river starts to flow southwest through the Santa Clarita Valley. Near the county line between Los Angeles County and Ventura County, the river enters the Santa Clara River Valley flowing past Buckhorn and Fillmore, incorporating additional flow from Piru Creek and Sespe Creek, both from the right, Santa Paula Creek at the town of Santa Paula, where it passes the large South Mountain Oil Field on the south bank; the Santa Clara River bends southwest, passing the Saticoy Oil Field on the north bank where South Mountain marks its entrance onto the broad Oxnard Plain. The river ends at the Pacific Ocean after flowing across the north side of this plain made fertile with the silt deposited by the river. A sand bar stands across the mouth at the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve that lies within McGrath State Beach in Oxnard and bounded on the north by the city of Ventura.
Although located just north of the populated Los Angeles Basin, the 1,600-square-mile Santa Clara River watershed remains one of the most natural on the South Coast. It is separated from the Los Angeles Basin by the low Santa Susana Mountains, along the north side of which the Santa Clara River runs. On the east are the San Gabriel Mountains, on the north are the Santa Ynez Mountains, Sespe Mountains, San Cayetano Mountains, Tehachapi Mountains. Piru and Sespe Creeks, each over 50 miles long, are the primary tributaries of the Santa Clara River. While Piru and Castaic Creeks form reservoirs for the California State Water Project, Sespe Creek is designated a National Wild and Scenic River, unique among Southern California streams. There are 12 historical landmarks in the watershed; the Santa Clara River watershed borders on the Ventura River/Matilija Creek watershed on the west. On the northwest, lies the Santa Ynez River watershed. On the north is the interior drainage basin of Tulare Lake in the Central Valley.
To the east is the Mojave River and to the south is the Los Angeles River. The Santa Clara River is the second largest river in Southern California; the estuary has been modified by human activities at least since 1855. By the late 1920s roads and agricultural fields had become established. In the late 1950s the former delta area was occupied by the Ventura Water Reclamation Facility and agricultural fields with levees constraining the river from these areas and directing the flow to the Harbor Boulevard bridge. McGrath State Beach was established in 1948; the estuary has been designated a Natural Preserve within McGrath State Beach on the south bank of the river mouth. From the north bank of the river, the city of Ventura releases some 9,000,000 US gallons of treated effluent daily that flows into the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve from their water reclamation facility. A sand berm separates the river from the ocean most of the year. In years with adequate rainfall, the river breaks the berm, slowly rebuilt by ocean action through the rest of the year.
When the river watershed has an exceptionally dry year, the berm acts as a dam, allowing the water level to rise with the
San Gabriel River (California)
The San Gabriel River is a urban waterway flowing 58 miles southward through Los Angeles and Orange Counties, California in the United States. It is the central of three major rivers draining the Greater Los Angeles Area, the others being the Los Angeles River and Santa Ana River; the river's watershed stretches from the rugged San Gabriel Mountains to the developed San Gabriel Valley and a significant part of the Los Angeles coastal plain, emptying into the Pacific Ocean between the cities of Long Beach and Seal Beach. The San Gabriel once ran across a vast alluvial flood plain, its channels shifting with winter floods and forming extensive wetlands along its perennial course, a scarce source of fresh water in this arid region; the Tongva people and their ancestors have inhabited the San Gabriel River basin for thousands of years, relying on the abundant fish and game in riparian habitats. The river is named for the nearby Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, established in 1771 during the Spanish colonization of California.
Its water was used for irrigation and ranching by Spanish and American settlers before urbanization began in the early 1900s transforming much of the watershed into industrial and suburban areas of greater Los Angeles. Severe floods in 1914, 1934 and 1938 spurred Los Angeles County, the federal government to build a system of dams and debris basins, to channelize much of the lower San Gabriel River with riprap or concrete banks. There is an extensive system of spreading grounds and other works to capture stormwater runoff and conserve it for urban use. Today, the river provides about one-third of the water used in southeast Los Angeles County; the upper San Gabriel has been intermittently mined for gold since the 1860s, its deep gravel bed has been an important source of construction aggregate since the early 1900s. The river is a popular recreation area, with parks and trails in the many flood basins along its course; the headwaters of the San Gabriel River have retained their natural character and are a popular attraction of the Angeles National Forest.
The San Gabriel River basin drains a total of 689 square miles and is located between the watersheds of the Los Angeles River to the west, the Santa Ana River to the east, the Mojave Desert to the north. The watershed is divided into three distinct sections; the northern third, located within the Angeles National Forest of the San Gabriel Mountains, is steep and mountainous. Elevations reach up to 10,064 feet at the highest point of the range. During the winter, many elevations above 6,000 feet are covered in snow; the middle third, the San Gabriel Valley, the southern third, the coastal plain of the Los Angeles Basin, are separated by the Puente Hills and Montebello Hills. With the exception of some recreation areas and lands set aside for flood control, the valleys are entirely urbanized. 2 million people live in the watershed, divided between 35 incorporated cities. Rainfall is higher in the San Gabriel Valley than the coastal plain due to its proximity to the mountains. However, the climate as a whole is arid, with only moderate precipitation in winter and nearly none in summer.
The lower watershed consists of alluvial plains that once experienced seasonal flooding from the San Gabriel River, creating vast swamps and wetlands. Today little of this original environment remains; the San Gabriel is one of the largest natural streams in Southern California, but its discharge varies from year to year. Between 1895 and 1957 the mean unimpaired runoff at Azusa was estimated at 114,000 acre feet, with a range from 9,600 to 410,000 acre feet; the San Gabriel River reached its highest flows in the winter and spring, with runoff dropping after early June before rising again with November or December storms. Today, the flow of the San Gabriel River has been dried up in places by dams and groundwater recharge operations, increased in other sections by wastewater run-off; the East Fork, 17 miles long, is the largest headwater of the San Gabriel River. S. Geological Survey considers it part of the main stem. However, it is colloquially known as the "East Fork" to distinguish it from the West Fork of the San Gabriel.
Its furthest tributary, the Prairie Fork, originates at 9,648-foot Pine Mountain in the Sheep Mountain Wilderness to the southwest of Wrightwood. Draining a high, remote subalpine valley characterized by extensive meadows, it flows west to join with Vincent Gulch, below which the stream is known as the East Fork. Here it turns abruptly south, flowing through a rugged canyon, it is joined from the east by the Fish Fork, which originates on the northwest slopes of Mount Baldy. Below the Fish Fork the East Fork flows through the "Narrows", one of the deepest gorges in Southern California. From the floor of the canyon at 3,000 feet, Iron Mountain rises 8,007 feet to the southeast, while Mount Hawkins, 8,850 feet, rises to the northwest; the Iron Fork tributary joins from the west in the middle of the Narrows. Near the lower end of the Narrows, the river passes under the Bridge to Nowhere, a 120-foot high arch bridge, abandoned after the huge flood of 1938 washed out a highway under construction along the East Fork.
The bridge remains today as a popular destination for hikers and bungee jumpers. After emerging from the Narrows the river continues flowing south through a som
Los Angeles the City of Los Angeles and known by its initials L. A. is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural and commercial center of Southern California; the city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity and the entertainment industry, its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America. Los Angeles is in a large basin bounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and by mountains as high as 10,000 feet on the other; the city proper, which covers about 469 square miles, is the seat of Los Angeles County, the most populated county in the country. Los Angeles is the principal city of the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the second largest in the United States after that of New York City, with a population of 13.1 million. It is part of the Los Angeles-Long Beach combined statistical area the nation's second most populous area with a 2015 estimated population of 18.7 million.
Los Angeles is one of the most substantial economic engines within the United States, with a diverse economy in a broad range of professional and cultural fields. Los Angeles is famous as the home of Hollywood, a major center of the world entertainment industry. A global city, it has been ranked 6th in the Global Cities Index and 9th in the Global Economic Power Index; the Los Angeles metropolitan area has a gross metropolitan product of $1.044 trillion, making it the third-largest in the world, after the Tokyo and New York metropolitan areas. Los Angeles hosted the 1932 and 1984 Summer Olympics and will host the event for a third time in 2028; the city hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1990 and 2006, was one of 9 American cities to host the 1994 FIFA men's soccer World Cup and one of 8 to host the 1999 FIFA women's soccer World Cup, hosting the final match for both tournaments. Home to the Chumash and Tongva, Los Angeles was claimed by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo for Spain in 1542 along with the rest of what would become Alta California.
The city was founded on September 4, 1781, by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood; the discovery of oil in the 1890s brought rapid growth to the city. The completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, delivering water from Eastern California assured the city's continued rapid growth; the Los Angeles coastal area was settled by the Chumash tribes. A Gabrieleño settlement in the area was called iyáangẚ, meaning "poison oak place". Maritime explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo claimed the area of southern California for the Spanish Empire in 1542 while on an official military exploring expedition moving north along the Pacific coast from earlier colonizing bases of New Spain in Central and South America.
Gaspar de Portolà and Franciscan missionary Juan Crespí, reached the present site of Los Angeles on August 2, 1769. In 1771, Franciscan friar Junípero Serra directed the building of the Mission San Gabriel Arcángel, the first mission in the area. On September 4, 1781, a group of forty-four settlers known as "Los Pobladores" founded the pueblo they called El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles,'The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels'; the present-day city has the largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese in the United States. Two-thirds of the Mexican or settlers were mestizo or mulatto, a mixture of African and European ancestry; the settlement remained a small ranch town for decades, but by 1820, the population had increased to about 650 residents. Today, the pueblo is commemorated in the historic district of Los Angeles Pueblo Plaza and Olvera Street, the oldest part of Los Angeles. New Spain achieved its independence from the Spanish Empire in 1821, the pueblo continued as a part of Mexico.
During Mexican rule, Governor Pío Pico made Los Angeles Alta California's regional capital. Mexican rule ended during the Mexican–American War: Americans took control from the Californios after a series of battles, culminating with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga on January 13, 1847. Railroads arrived with the completion of the transcontinental Southern Pacific line to Los Angeles in 1876 and the Santa Fe Railroad in 1885. Petroleum was discovered in the city and surrounding area in 1892, by 1923, the discoveries had helped California become the country's largest oil producer, accounting for about one-quarter of the world's petroleum output. By 1900, the population had grown to more than 102,000; the completion of the Los Angeles Aqueduct in 1913, under the supervision of William Mulholland, assured the continued growth of the city. Due to clauses in the city's charter that prevented the City of Los Angeles from selling or providing water from the aqueduct to any area outside its borders, many adjacent city and communities became compelled to annex themselves into Los Angeles.
Los Angeles created the first municipal zoning ordinance in the United States. On September 14, 1908, the Los Angeles City Council promulgated residential and industrial land use zones; the new ordinance established three residential zones of a single type, where industrial uses were
The Ventura River, in western Ventura County in southern California, United States, flows 16.2 miles from its headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. The smallest of the three major rivers in Ventura County, it flows through the steeply sloped, narrow Ventura Valley, with its final 0.7 miles through the broader Ventura River estuary, which extends from where it crosses under a 101 Freeway bridge through to the Pacific Ocean. The Ventura River watershed encompasses 226 square miles consisting of steep mountains and foothills, with altitudes ranging from 6,010 feet to sea level. Valley floors are home to farms. Conditions in much of the watershed remain natural and undeveloped, with 57% of its land area in protected status. Most of the watershed's primary streams and drainages are unchannelized, though the natural hydrologic patterns have been modified by two dams and three levees. Developed land comprises only about 13% of the total land area in the watershed; the northern half of the watershed lies within Los Padres National Forest.
The watershed's southern half has agriculture as the dominant land use, with irrigated citrus and avocados as the primary crops while a significant area of land is used for cattle grazing. The populated area includes a number of unincorporated communities; the smaller of the two cities, lies within the watershed, 13-mile inland at an elevation of 746 feet. Only 13% of the larger city of Ventura lies within the watershed, adjacent to the coast on the lower stretch of the Ventura River; the population of the watershed is small and the rate of growth low. The population is 44,140, which represents just 5.4% of Ventura County's population. The population is 58% white, 37% Hispanic or Latino, 2% Asian, 3% other races. Income varies and several areas qualify as disadvantaged or disadvantaged communities; the river flows 16.2 miles from its headwaters through to the Pacific Ocean. The smallest of the three major rivers in Ventura County, the Ventura River's source stream is Matilija Creek, from its confluence with North Fork Matilija Creek.
Matilija Creek is Ventura River's highest volume tributary, followed by San Antonio Creek, which joins the Ventura River from the east halfway to the ocean. Much of the Ventura River's route is contained by the steeply sloped sides of the narrow Ventura Valley, with its final 0.7 miles through the broader Ventura River estuary, which extends from where it crosses under a 101 Freeway bridge through to the Pacific Ocean. Rainfall varies geographically and from year to year. Median annual precipitation is 14.12 inches or 359 millimetres in the lower watershed, 19.20 inches or 488 millimetres in the middle watershed, 28.74 inches or 730 millimetres in the upper watershed. However in the subhumid upper basin, rainfall is infrequent – falling on as few days in a year as in hot, arid Phoenix, Arizona – but when rain does fall it can be heavy with totals of 20 inches or 510 millimetres in a week not uncommon in the middle and upper basins. Cycles of drought and flood are the norm: as an illustration, in the main settlement of Ojai since 1906, 67 percent of the years have had less than the mean rainfall.
Many parts of the Ventura River stream network are dry during much of the year. Surface water disappears underground in some stream reaches. Rainfall in the Matilija Wilderness, the river's headwaters, is the highest in Ventura County, with average annual rainfall, over twice that of rainfall at the coast; the steep terrain of the Ventura River watershed, coupled with intense downpours that can occur in its upper portions, result in flash flood conditions where floodwaters rise and fall in a matter of hours. Major or moderate floods have occurred once every five years on average since 1933; the most damaging flood recorded in the Ventura River watershed occurred in 1969. The watershed above Ojai received 43 inches of rain in nine days in January; the floodwaters and associated debris flooded homes in Live Oak Acres. Much agricultural land citrus groves, was damaged or destroyed. All over Ventura County, transportation facilities, including roads and railroad tracks, were damaged; the wastewater treatment plant below Foster Park was damaged and dumped raw sewage into the Ventura River.
In addition, sewer trunk lines were broken along the Ventura San Antonio Creek. Untreated sewage polluted the beach; the capacity of the Matilija reservoir was reduced by siltation from the flood. Limited land development and large areas of protected habitat in the watershed help support surface water, clean compared with more developed areas in the region. However, all of the watershed major waterbodies are on the Clean Water Act Section 303 list of impaired waterbodies. Surface waters are impaired for a number of factors, including trash, water diversion/pumping, eutrophic conditions, low dissolved oxygen, fish barriers, bacteria and total dissolved solids; the estuary has been on the Clean Water Act 303 list for trash impairment for 10+ years. In 2008 the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted the Ventura River Estuary Trash Total Maximum Daily Load to address the impairment and establish time schedule orders to improve
The BNSF Railway Company is the largest freight railroad network in North America. One of eight North American Class I railroads, BNSF has 44,000 employees, 32,500 miles of track in 28 states, more than 8,000 locomotives, it has three transcontinental routes that provide rail connections between the western and eastern United States. BNSF trains traveled over 169 million miles in 2010, more than any other North American railroad; the BNSF and Union Pacific have a duopoly on all transcontinental freight rail lines in the Western U. S. and share trackage rights over thousands of miles of track. The BNSF Railway Company is the principal operating subsidiary of parent company Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC. Headquartered in Fort Worth, the railroad's parent company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. According to corporate press releases, the BNSF Railway is among the top transporters of intermodal freight in North America, it hauls bulk cargo, including enough coal to generate around ten per cent of the electricity produced in the United States.
The creation of BNSF started with the formation of a holding company on September 22, 1995. This new holding company purchased the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway and Burlington Northern Railroad, formally merged the railways into the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway on December 31, 1996. On January 24, 2005, the railroad's name was changed to BNSF Railway Company using the initials of its original name. On November 3, 2009, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced it would acquire the remaining 77.4 percent of BNSF it did not own for $100 per share in cash and stock — a deal valued at $44 billion. The company is acquiring $10 billion in debt. On February 12, 2010, shareholders of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation voted in favor of the acquisition. BNSF's history dates back to 1849, when the Aurora Branch Railroad in Illinois and the Pacific Railroad of Missouri were formed; the Aurora Branch grew into the Chicago and Quincy Railroad, a major component of successor Burlington Northern.
A portion of the Pacific Railroad became the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway; the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway was chartered in 1859. It built one of the first transcontinental railroads in North America, linking Chicago and Southern California; the Interstate Commerce Commission denied a proposed merger with the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in the 1980s. The Burlington Northern Railroad was created in 1970 through the consolidation of the Chicago and Quincy Railroad, the Great Northern Railway, the Northern Pacific Railway and the Spokane and Seattle Railway, it absorbed the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway in 1980, its main lines included Chicago-Seattle with branches to Texas and Montgomery and access to the low-sulfur coal of Wyoming's Powder River Basin. On June 30, 1994, BN and ATSF announced plans to merge. S. Class I railroads; the long-rumored announcement was delayed by a disagreement over the disposition of Santa Fe Pacific Gold Corporation, a gold mining subsidiary that ATSF agreed to sell to stockholders.
This announcement began the next wave of mergers, as the "Super Seven" were merged down to four in the next five years. The Illinois Central Railroad and Kansas City Southern Railway, two of the five "small" Class Is, announced on July 19 that the former would buy the latter, but this plan was called off on October 25; the Union Pacific Railroad, another major Western system, started a bidding war with BN for control of the SF on October 5. The UP gave up on January 1995, paving the way for the BN-ATSF merger. Subsequently, the UP acquired the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in 1996, Eastern systems CSX Transportation and Norfolk Southern Railway split Conrail in 1999. On February 7, 1995, BN and ATSF heads Gerald Grinstein and Robert D. Krebs both announced shareholders had approved the plan, which would save overhead costs and combine BN's coal and ATSF's intermodal strengths. Although the two systems complemented each other with little overlap, in contrast to the Santa Fe-Southern Pacific merger, which failed because it would have eliminated competition in many areas of the Southwest, BN and ATSF came to agreements with most other Class Is to keep them from opposing the merger.
UP was satisfied with a single segment of trackage rights from Abilene, Kansas to Superior, which BN and ATSF had both served. KCS gained haulage rights to several Midwest locations, including Omaha, East St. Louis, Memphis, in exchange for BNSF getting similar access to New Orleans. SP requesting far-reaching trackage rights throughout the West, soon agreed on a reduced plan, whereby SP acquired trackage rights on ATSF for intermodal and automotive traffic to Chicago, other trackage rights on ATSF in Kansas, south to Texas, between Colorado and Texas. In exchange, SP assigned BNSF trackage rights over the former Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad between El Paso and Topeka and haulage rights to the Mexican border at Eagle Pass, Texas. Regional Toledo and Western Railway obtained trackage rights over BN from Peoria to Galesburg, Illinois, a BN hub where it could interchange with SP; the Interstate Commerce Commission approved the BNSF merger on July 20, 1995, less than a month before UP announced on August