High Speed Rail: San Mateo 25th Avenue Grade Separation

Workers at project site

Workers at project site

Improving safety and air quality for Californians is a priority. The California High-Speed Rail Authority, in partnership with the city of San Mateo and the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, is in the midst of construction of a grade separation project at East 25th Avenue, which will raise the Caltrain tracks and slightly lower East 25th Avenue in San Mateo.

The rail-roadway crossing is considered a “top priority” for safety improvement by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The intersection sits between San Mateo County Events Center and a busy shopping center. Further, Caltrain reports that 92 of its trains pass through the intersection each weekday.

Idling vehicles and traffic congestion are generally a result of trains and automobiles at the same ground level height. By separating the road and train tracks, removing traffic at idle will improve air quality and safety.

“Like everyone else on the Peninsula, I have to plan my day around traffic,” San Mateo City Councilwoman Maureen Freschet noted to the San Mateo Daily at the groundbreaking ceremony. “There is no quick fix for regional traffic congestion, but the grade separation at 25th Avenue is certainly a good place to start. I know that our residents will appreciate and benefit from the elimination of trainvehicle conflicts as well as enjoy safer pedestrian options.”

Grade separations raise or lower roadways to improve safety for motorists and pedestrians as well as reduce traffic congestion.

In addition to raising the Caltrain tracks, the project includes creating new east-west street connections at 28th and 31st Avenues as well as the construction of a new and elevated Hillsdale Station at East 28th Avenue.

Funding for the $180 million project came from State Section 190, the California High-Speed Rail Authority, local Measure A and the city of San Mateo. Completion of the project is estimated in fall 2020.