Supervisor Ken Yeager Updates CalTrain Tunnels

Supervisor Ken Yeager Updates CalTrain Tunnels

By Robert Haugh

Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager shared news on a key component of Santa Clara County’s mass transit future – the pedestrian undercrossing at the Santa Clara train station.

“I have been working to improve pedestrian access at that station since 2008. The first stage was completed in 2012 when we opened a 60-foot tunnel underneath the southbound Caltrain tracks giving passengers access to the northbound platform … I brought together officials from the City of Santa Clara and the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to find a way to extend the tunnel underneath the remaining tracks on the other side of the platform. The City of San Jose and the developer of Avaya Stadium also joined the project,” stated Yeager in an E-newsletter.

The new undercrossing will connect to Brokaw Road in San Jose, allowing riders to walk from the station to the stadium, and all of the adjacent development currently under construction. It includes an 80-foot tunnel underneath the tracks and a 250-foot open air ramp connecting the tunnel to Brokaw.

“This is a very exciting development that will allow soccer fans from throughout Northern California to access Avaya Stadium using mass transit. I believe it will also spur the kind of high density, transit-oriented development in the Brokaw-Coleman roads area that our region desperately needs,” added Yeager.

Yeager added that in the next few years, the Santa Clara station “will be getting very busy,” as the final stop on BART’s South Bay extension as well as serving Caltrain, ACE, and the Capitol Corridor trains. “This undercrossing will provide the vital pedestrian link between the station and surrounding neighborhood.”

According to VTA, construction of the undercrossing will last four days, and includes stopping rail service on three tracks, cutting about 200 feet of railway, and excavation. The cut-and-cover construction will utilize precast concrete box culvert units that will be set in place to create the floor, walls, and ceiling of the tunnel. Construction of the underpass will take place around the clock over Thanksgiving weekend: the night of Wednesday, November 23 through 4 a.m. on Monday, November 28. Construction of the ramp extension will begin in October 2016. Finishes to the undercrossing and the ramp itself will be completed and open to the public in Summer 2017.
Of note, during the four day construction period from November 23 through November 28, passenger trains will run in both directions on a single track nearest to Railroad Avenue. The adjacent UPRR tracks will be closed and those trains will be detoured. Updates will me made as the construction time period approaches.
Funding for the project came from Measures A and B, The City of San Jose, State and Federal Sources, Safe Routes to Transit, and the Transportation Fund for Clean Air.
Groundbreaking for the $13.8 million Avaya Stadium Caltrain Tunnel project was held be on Nov. 2.
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