A $147-million project to raise the Caltrain tracks 18 feet above three busy intersections in downtown San Bruno is about halfway completed, transit officials announced.
The San Bruno Grade Separation Project, which broke ground in November of 2010, will elevate nearly a mile of Caltrain tracks above San Bruno, allowing multiple daily trains to pass safely above traffic and pedestrians on newly constructed bridges passing over intersections at San Bruno, San Mateo and Angus avenues.
Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said the change in downtown San Bruno is already dramatic, with bridges and support structures for the tracks reaching up into the skyline.
"I don't know if you've driven by in a while, but the change is dramatic," Dunn said. "You get a real sense of the project taking shape."
The reinforced concrete support structures sit atop a series of more than 300 steel pilings, some of which plunge more than 70 feet into the ground, Dunn said.
Given the busy nature of the location of the project, mitigating the effects of construction on traffic has been challenging, Dunn said. The northern end of the project is adjacent to Interstate Highway 380, while the bridges are being constructed over San Bruno Avenue - which connects to U.S. Highway 101 - and San Mateo Avenue, which is one of the main surface streets that leads into to downtown San Bruno.
In addition, the new overhead tracks pass above BART's tracks to San Francisco International Airport.
Meanwhile, Caltrain continues to operate 86 daily weekday trains through the area.
The next phase of the project includes construction of a new 800-foot-long elevated train station between San Mateo and San Bruno Avenues.
Plans are on schedule to start operating trains on the new tracks by spring of 2013, and the entire project is on track to be completed the following fall, Dunn said.
- Bay City News Service
PATCH WANTS TO KNOW - What do you think of the project in San Bruno? Some think elevated tracks will help to prevent pedestrian accidents. Do you think this is something more Caltrain stations - like perhaps the one in San Mateo - should consider doing? Tell us in the comments below.
For the latest in hyperlocal news such as this wherever you go, follow us! And don't forget to sign up for our daily e-newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.