Public to weigh in on Caltrain plansBy Stephen Baxter
Several deaths on the train tracks in San Bruno are prompting multi-million dollar plans for the track's elevation, and tonight a community meeting will be held to discuss Caltrain's options.
Two plans show tracks rising from Sylvan Avenue near the depot past Interstate 380, stretching for about a mile and a half.
The meeting is expected to compare a $95.5 million bridge concept with a $83.6 million plan to build the tracks on compacted dirt with walls on each side.
Few in San Bruno oppose track elevation, also called grade separation, but homes on First Avenue running parallel to the tracks could face a 20-foot wall.
A citizens advisory committee formed last year to open talks between Caltrain, the city and residents. Eleven meetings were held last year.
A design decision Thursday will take the project closer to breaking ground, which is scheduled for 2006.
The curve on the tracks under San Mateo and West San Bruno avenues has been especially dangerous in recent years.
Michael Bulnes, Jr. allegedly had his foot stuck in a hole while crossing the tracks there on Oct. 16, 2000 and a southbound train hit him at 60 mph.
Resident Robert Riechel said he has concerns about possible flooding on Huntington Avenue and other places. He said Caltrain has been responsive to resident concerns.
The San Bruno City Council and Caltrain can overrule the citizens advisory committee but it is expected to heed its recommendations.
"We feel it's a critical safety improvement," said Caltrain spokeswoman Jayme Kunz.
The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Belle Air Elementary School Teachers Lounge, 450 Third Ave.
Copyright ©2005 San Mateo Daily Journal. Published 01/13/2005.