Caltrain OK's 2025 plan, delays San Bruno grade separations
- Published Friday, August 4, 2006, by the San Francisco Examiner
Grade separations postponed to 2010
By Tara Ramroop
Caltrain officials Thursday released a tentative timetable for
system-wide upgrades to the commuter-rail system through 2025,
officially postponing long-awaited grade separations in some cities
The Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board readily endorsed the
Project 2025 plan at yesterday's meeting, setting a rough timeline
for the capital projects outlined in a 2004 strategic plan, San
Mateo County Supervisor and JPB board member Jerry Hill said. The
2004 plan estimated about $4.9 billion in capital projects through
2023, Hill said.
Construction on grade separations separating train tracks from
streets at certain intersections in San Bruno and on South Linden
Avenue in South San Francisco was scheduled to begin this year.
Though the grade separations have been postponed, Caltrain does plan
on making some grade crossing improvements at San Bruno and San
Mateo Avenues in San Bruno within the next few years. This work
would involve straightening out the streets at that intersection,
so they don't curve at an angle and confuse drivers, SamTrans chief
engineer Stephen Hill said.
Higher priorities in the next five years will be repairing and
replacing old infrastructure such as the nearly 100-year-old rail
bridges up and down the line, said Robert Doty, SamTrans director
of rail transportation, engineering and construction.
So-called "quad gates," which would prevent people from driving
around the lowered crossing arm, are also planned system-wide in the
next five years as a precursor to the grade separations, Hill said.
Police in June cited a man who survived after he drove under a
crossing arm in Redwood City and was hit by a train.
Last month, a Caltrain slammed into a car after its driver, who also
survived, inadvertently drove around the crossing arm near San Bruno
and San Mateo avenues, one of the intersections for which a grade
separation is planned. City officials said then that the accident
underscored the need for safety improvements at that intersection.
San Bruno Mayor Larry Franzella told the board he understood the
postponement but wanted significant safety improvements in the next
five years. Councilman Ken Ibarra echoed these concerns, saying he
hoped something would be done for safety at the rail crossings.
SamTrans staff are scheduled to present a more solid plan to the
board by the end of the year, which will include a funding analysis
[BATN: See also:
Caltrain "Project 2025" to add system capacity, replace trains
Caltrain hits car driving around crossing gate in San Bruno
San Bruno fears Caltrain electrification will delay grade separations
Caltrain may delay San Bruno grade separations up to 5 years