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Monday, November 14, 2011

SFCTA Meeting Notes: Oakdale Caltrain Station Update

Last week's SFCTA meeting covered the replacement of the structurally deficient Quint St Caltrain bridge; the Caltrain Oakdale Station status, and; the Quint St/Jerrold Ave Connector Road

Information is available at the SFCTA Website. Links to other important documents:

Now you may think, but Quint and Jerrold are already connected...what's up with this connector road?  The proposal on the table is to CLOSE Quint and dogleg traffic from the western side of the Quint bridge over to Jerrold along the western side of the rail tracks.  This 26'-wide road would be narrow by modern road standards, and would only have one 5.5' wide sidewalk.  Check out Bacon St over the reservoir in the Portola - this roadway is 24'9", and gives you an idea of what we'd be dealing with.

This idea is proposed because Caltrain only has $25M for the bridge replacement, and while it would cover the cost of a new bridge that is two-tracks wide, just like the new Jerrold Ave bridge, it's not enough for one that would accommodate a future Oakdale Ave Caltrain Station, a station that would run from about 420ft east of the Oakdale tunnel to about the middle of Quint St.   This proposed station would have up to four tracks - two for Caltrain, which would stop at the station, and two for High-Speed Rail, which would not.  To keep Quint open and put a new bridge here is projected to cost $35M.  Just for comparison, the Jerrold Bridge cost $13.6M to replace, and it is 1/3 the length of the Quint Bridge, so this number seems to be in the ballpark.   The Mayor and Supervisor Cohen (who's rep Megan Hamilton was present at the meeting) have tried to work with the TA to come up with the needed $10M to keep Quint open.  Apparently, they have not succeeded (yet?).

So, the idea is to replace the bridge with an embankment, removing the bridge entirely and closing off Quint with a continuation of the berm (the artificial 20' tall embankment that the tracks lay on between the Jerrold and Quint bridges), connecting it to the other side, and then placing the tracks on top of that to build the new station around it. This may in fact be the project that is closest to being initiated. In an email to D10Watch, Tilly Chang, SFCTA's deputy Director for Planning, says, "It is likely that the Quint closure will precede completion of the connector road, due to the safety imperative of replacing the structurally deficient [Quint St] bridge as soon as possible and the immediate availability of design and construction funding for the project (Caltrain has funding in hand). That said, our goal is to move the connector road design process along as quickly as possible so as to minimize the period of time that Quint is closed without the Connector road providing alternate circulation through the area."

The connector road from Quint to Jerrold would terminate on the west side of Jerrold, where there could conceivably be some tricky traffic maneuvers as the road connects with the planned Jerrold realignment.  Since this was the first time these concepts had been presented, it sounds like there's a lot of room for proposal modification, but not a lot of time. Chang said, "We are in the very early stages of planning, and our graphic for the Connector Road is highly conceptual.  It is likely that that designers can widen the turning radius for that movement; during design, DPW will apply truck turning templates in order to accommodate large semitrailer trucks."

Connector Road Potential Project Schedule:
Winter 2011: Planning & conceptual Design
Spring 2012: Preliminary Design and Cost estimate
Summer 2012: Environmental Review/Community Input
Fall 2012: Final Design
Winter 2013: Start Construction
Funding: Up to $5M from Caltrain; Prop K; other local funds

Quint St. Bridge Replacement Tentative Schedule of Construction:
July 2013 to December 2014 (pending design consensus, environmental review)

SFCTA Oakdale Station ridership study:

Completion Spring 2012
Projected by 2030: estimated 2500 riders/day: 20% arriving on foot/bike; 40% by bus/transit; 40% by car (although no parking is proposed for the 1000 additional vehicles).

Links to important documents:

Oakdale Station Design Feasibility Assessment Final Report

Caltrain Quint Street Bridge Replacement Project Transportation Impact Analysis Study

For links to ALL projects involving the SFCTA in the Bayview, click here.

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