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Monday, November 02, 2009

VTA funds ongoing Caltrain safety improvements

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The South County Caltrain Improvement Project is California funded by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is under way for future double tracking and capacity improvements. The project aims to increase Caltrain service capacity and improve safety by constructing a second set of new railway track along the Caltrain railway corridor and various intersections from Tilton Avenue in Morgan Hill, to Blanchard Road in south San Jose. The focus of this construction work is on utility relocation.

Current project activities include potholing, open trenching and directional boring. Although there are no scheduled road closures, flashing signage, lane delineators and traffic cones have been placed along Monterey Road for the safety of the traveling public and the construction crews.

Most of the construction effort will be completed within the Union Pacific right-of-way. It is not expected to generate significant community impacts, with the exception of activities surrounding the construction site and at the grade crossings. The impacts at grade crossings will be restricted to lane closures for both the utility relocation and civil construction, which includes mostly grading, retaining wall and crossings improvements. However, UP will temporarily close grade crossings and detour traffic for a day or two, to install trackwork. These closures are expected in late 2011 and early 2012.

The total budget of the South County Caltrain Improvement Project is $61 million, which includes the $13 million it costs for the utility relocation phase of the work. Work for the utility relocation consists of two segments. The first segment is the northerly five-mile segment, scheduled for completion around February 2010. Utility relocation in the southerly three-mile segment will start around March 2010 and is schedule for completion by August 2010.