On the table Tuesday night for the Burlingame City Council will be a vote on whether to adopt a resolution supporting the Broadway Grade Separation Project.
With approval, the public works director would be authorized to submit an application for Measure A funding to complete a study report on the project, which is intended to ease severe traffic congestion impacts caused by the existing at-grade railroad crossing and train signal at the Broadway Corridor.
The cost of the overall grade separation project depends on what the study reveals, said Syed Murtuza, director of public works for the city. The study should take 12 to 18 months if approved by the council, Murtuza said.
The San Mateo County Transportation Authority called for grade separation projects and there is about $200 million available for the countywide program. The cost for Burlingame to perform a preliminary engineering, environmental documentation and final engineering design is estimated to be $1 million and, if the city’s grant application is successful, it will receive this entirely from Measure A funds.
“It’s a very touchy subject because we don’t want the Great Wall of China running down our town,” said Councilwoman Terry Nagel. “We just know we have to deal with this issue sooner rather than later, as lots more trains are going to be running. We have to get something in pipeline; if we wait, all the funding will go to other cities.”
Currently, the Broadway station is only open on the weekends. When trains pass at the intersection, one must wait for the other. That’s called the holdout rule. During peak travel times, the intersection can be blocked for up to 14 minutes per hour, according to Burlingame staff. Caltrain could reopen the station in the next few years.
There is also a $1.5 billion Caltrain modernization project to electrify the tracks and allow the agency to ditch its diesel trains in place of quieter and cleaner electric vehicles similar to Bay Area Rapid Transit trains. The agency hopes to have the modernization effort complete by 2019.
The grade separation project applications are due Sept. 13.
In other city business, the council will also vote on whether to authorize Mayor Ann Keighran to send a letter to the District Lines Advisory Committee expressing the city’s concerns about Burlingame being split up in the draft of the supervisorial district map.
The Burlingame City Council will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at Burlingame City Hall, 510 Primrose Road.