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Caltrain moving ahead with $250m plan to grade-separate San Bruno

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  • 11/6 SF Examiner
    Published Thursday, November 6, 2008, by the San Francisco Examiner Caltrain project calls for beefed-up safety By Mike Aldax maldax@sfexaminer.com In the wake
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 6, 2008
      Published Thursday, November 6, 2008, by the San Francisco Examiner

      Caltrain project calls for beefed-up safety

      By Mike Aldax

      In the wake of two fatal collisions last month, Caltrain is moving
      ahead with a $250 million plan to limit car and pedestrian access to

      The project would eliminate five street-level crossings in San Bruno,
      creating underpasses for vehicles and pedestrians to pass through,
      and would also replace aging railroad bridges in San Mateo and San
      Francisco, among other work, Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn

      The key improvements, known as grade separations, are part of the
      transit agency's efforts to improve safety on tracks, where more than
      180 people have died since 1992, including 12 this year, said Dunn.

      Last week, a train struck a pickup at a San Mateo crossing just
      before the morning commute, killing the driver and dragging his
      mangled truck about 200 feet.

      Today, the transit agency's board of directors will authorize a
      funding agreement in which the California Department of
      Transportation will provide $45 million toward the improvements.
      The funding comes as a result of Proposition 1B, approved by voters
      in 2006. The agency will foot the rest of the bill, Dunn said.

      As part of the project, streets would be lowered beneath the tracks
      at the San Bruno crossing of South Linden, San Bruno, San Mateo and
      Angus avenues.

      The safety improvements are welcomed by engineers, who say they feel
      helpless and anguished by the fatalities.

      "Engineers are as much victims of [the fatalities]," said Tim Smith,
      the state chairman of the union representing Caltrain engineers.
      "These grade separation projects or improvements at the grade
      crossing are not only good for [engineers], but good for the public
      along the right-of-way, as well."

      Additionally, several railroad bridges in San Mateo that are more
      than 100 years old will be replaced with new, seismically retrofitted
      structures, as well as an old steel bridge at Quint Street and
      Jerrold Avenue in The City, she said.

      In recent years, Caltrain has also embarked on a campaign to limit
      and discourage pedestrian access to the tracks, and has worked to
      discourage suicides, said Chris Payne, the agency's safety officer.

      Train fatalities will also drop once Caltrain electrifies its rail
      system, Dunn said.

      On the right track: Caltrain to make $250 million in rail safety-
      traffic improvements.

      San Bruno

      * Construction to begin in 2012
      * Lower streets below tracks at crossing of South Linden, San Bruno,
      San Mateo and Angus avenues
      * Raise tracks on Scott Street, closing it to traffic
      * Building pedestrian underpasses at Scott Street and Euclid and
      Sylvan avenues

      San Mateo

      * Construction to begin in 2009
      * Replace 100-year-old bridges that cross Tilton Avenue, Monte Diablo
      Street, Santa Inez Street and Poplar Avenue
      * Bridge crossing Poplar Avenue will be raised to allow emergency
      vehicles such as fire trucks to pass through

      San Francisco

      * Construction to begin in 2009
      * Replace steel bridges at Quint Street and Jerrold Avenue
      * Reconstruct tracks, streets and pedestrian sidewalks

      Source: Caltrain

      [BATN: See also:

      Caltrain to begin $4.3m revamp of all 4 San Bruno grade crossings

      Safety upgrades planned for Caltrain San Bruno grade crossings

      San Bruno may straighten angled Caltrain crossing

      Road crossing upgrades slated for Caltrain in San Bruno

      Meeting on delayed San Bruno Caltrain grade separations

      Caltrain OK's 2025 plan, delays San Bruno grade separations

      Caltrain promotes electrification, delays San Bruno grade seps

      Caltrain hits car driving around crossing gate in San Bruno

      San Bruno worries Caltrain electrification will delay grade separations

      Caltrain may delay San Bruno grade separations up to 5 years

      Caltrain studying further grade separations

      Mis-designed San Bruno Caltrain grade sep may be deferred
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/28593 ]
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