The California-based San Mateo County Transportation Authority’s (TA) board approved $2.3 million in Measure A grade separation funds for additional pre-construction work for Caltrain's Broadway Grade Separation Project in Burlingame.
The city of Burlingame is also contributing $200,000 toward this phase of the project. Combined, the funding allows for a yet-to-be-approved contractor to participate in the final aspects of the design process, which is approaching 95% completion.
Benefits of Bringing On Contractor Early
Project leaders say bringing a contractor on at this early stage can help lower costs and speed up construction in the long run. The same method is considered a factor in helping the San Mateo 101 Express Lanes project come in both on time and on budget.
"The money will help bring on board a qualified contractor to advise the design team regarding constructability requirements, project phasing, and the construction schedule,” said Burlingame Public Works Director Syed Murtuza. “This effort is aimed at expediting the project delivery and minimizing potential change orders and construction delays.”
The Burlingame Grade Separation Project
The California Public Utilities Commission has placed the Broadway at-grade (street level) crossing at the top of its grade-separation priority list for Northern California. As recently as Nov. 8, a northbound Caltrain locomotive hit a vehicle that was too close to the tracks. Fortunately, nobody was killed during this collision, but other serious incidents have plagued the Broadway crossing for years, including three vehicle strikes in 2022 alone.
“Grade separation projects are one of the best options for creating safer roadways for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians,” said TA Executive Officer Peter Skinner. “They’re extremely expensive, however, so finding ways to streamline the process and lower the costs is a win-win for everyone.”
The total Burlingame Grade Separation project cost is estimated at $316 million with completion projected as early as December 2028. The project is eligible to receive up to 50% of the project cost from the TA’s grade separation program.