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Broadway Grade Separation


Introduction 

Broadway is a major gateway to the City of Burlingame with direct connections to commercial, retail and hotel services, and Highway 101. The high traffic volumes at the at-grade railroad crossing result in some of the worst traffic congestion in the region. This at-grade railroad crossing needs improved traffic safety and circulation; reduced congestion; and increased operational efficiency. The Broadway Grade Separation project will develop and evaluate options for a grade separation at the Broadway / Railroad Crossing in Burlingame to alleviate these issues. 

Background 

The railroad along the San Francisco Bay Area’s peninsula was originally constructed in the 1860’s and the grade crossing at Broadway was built in the early 1900’s. Due to population growth, and an increase in traffic and train volumes, the grade crossing has become unsafe and less efficient. Within the vicinity of the existing railroad crossing, Broadway has six traffic lanes of varying widths between 10 and 12 feet. There are no shoulders or bicycle lanes, and each side of Broadway has sidewalks that vary from six to eight feet in width. 

Broadway serves the region from US 101 with direct connections to the downtown Broadway commercial district, Rollins Road industrial area, auto dealerships, and numerous hotels and hospitality services along the bay front. As a result of these services and amenities, traffic volumes on Broadway are high. Over 70,000 vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists use Broadway on a daily basis. The average traffic during the weekday afternoon peak was recorded to be around 324 seconds (5.4 minutes). By 2040, and without any improvements, that delay would increase to 1,450 seconds (24.2 minutes). This results in significant traffic back-ups on Broadway, California Drive, and onto the US 101 ramps. These conditions are further exacerbated by gate down times from the frequent Caltrain commuter trains.

Currently, there are a total of 92 Caltrain trains every weekday. Based on Caltrain projections, the weekday volumes are expected to more than double to 220 trains by 2040. In addition Union Pacific freight trains run along this corridor typically at night when Caltrain is not in service.

In addition, with over 10,000 at-grade crossings in all of California, Broadway is currently ranked as the #1 highest priority project statewide by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for grade separation priority. 

Purpose and Need 

At the May 16, 2016 Burlingame City Council Meeting, the Council approved an alternative from the Project Study Report (PSR) completed by AECOM, the City ‘s consultant on the project.  The PSR is a preliminary engineering report.  It typically consists of a preliminary purpose and need statement, initial alternatives, system planning, potential environmental issues, traffic analysis, and estimated costs.  The PSR’s main purpose is to start a project and determine a preferred alternative.  The City’s preferred alternative is to partially depress Broadway while partially raising the railroad tracks.  With this alternative, the projects would:

  • Remove the at-grade crossing at Broadway, to improve safety and circulation for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles by eliminating conflicts with trains.
  • Improve traffic operations by reducing queuing times, consequently improving traffic flow along adjacent streets and intersections at Broadway, California Drive, Carolan Avenue, and Rollins Road.
  • Improve access to/from local destinations including the residential and business communities within the project region.
  • Improve bicycle and pedestrian access/circulation within the project limits.
  • Reduce traffic congestion, which will result in lower motor vehicle emissions.
  • Offer an opportunity to provide a gateway entrance into the City of Burlingame.

The project is currently in the preliminary engineering phase. During this time, more detailed studies including traffic analysis, environmental assessment, and public outreach will be prepared to further refine the information developed in the PSR. These additional studies will help to address key questions such as:

  • What improvements are required to meet the needs and accomplish the goals of the project?
  • What are the impacts of the improvements on the surroundings?
  • How can we implement the needed project to minimize the impacts on the surroundings?

Project Location Map

project location map

Project Schedule

  • Project Study Report: January 2014 to Janunary 2017
  • Preliminary Engineering/ Environmental Review:  March 2017 to October 2019
  • Final Design*: November 2019 to November 2021
  • Right-of-Way/Utilities Acquisition*: November 2020 to November 2022
  • Issue for Bid/Award*: December 2022 to June 2023
  • Construction*:  July 2023 to July 2026
* Dependent on future funding allocations.

Community Outreach

Preliminary Engineering Phase

5th Community Meeting  - Septemb
er 2019
Date to be determined

San Mateo County Transportation Authority Board of Directors Meeting -  July 11, 2019
Click here to view the meeting.

City Council Meeting -  June 3, 2019
Click here to view the presentation to City Council and supporting documents.

City Council Meeting - August 20, 2018
Click here to view the presentation to City Council and supporting documents.

4th Community Meeting - August 8, 2018
Click here to view the meeting presentation and supporting documents.

To view a simulation of the Broadway Grade Separation, click here.

Project Study Report Phase

The final Project Study Report (PSR) was approved on January 27, 2017. Click here to view the report. 

City Council Meeting - May 16, 2016
Click here to view the meeting presentation and supporting documents.

Community Meeting - September 16, 2015
Click here to view meeting presentation and supporting documents. 

Community Meeting - March 11, 2015

Click here to view meeting summary and supporting documents. 

For further information or if you have feedback you would like to share regarding the preferred alternative, please email broadwaygradesep@burlingame.org.   Additional project information can also be found on Caltrain's website. Click here to review Caltrain's Burlingame Broadway Grade Separation Project page.