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October 26, 2004 > Washington Grade Separation Project

Washington Grade Separation Project

by Linda Stone

The Washington Boulevard/Paseo Padre Parkway Grade Separation will eliminate six at-grade railroad crossings by the elevation Washington Boulevard between Roberts Avenue and Bruce Drive, over the Union Pacific (UP) railroad tracks and future BART tracks. It will also depress Paseo Padre Parkway between Hancock Drive and Shadow Brooke Common, under the UP railroad tracks and future BART tracks.

The effect will be to eliminate traffic delays due to slow freight trains and improve safety as well as accommodate the future BART Warm Springs Extension project.

Currently, the City of Fremont is working on reaching an agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad (UP). "We hope that we have an understanding with the UP, but we still have some ongoing negotiations that have to occur with them, but we think we have, subject to council approval next week, we think we have the principals of the agreement now put together so now we can negotiate the agreement itself," said Jim Pierson, assistant city engineer. It is anticipated that the agreement will be completed by the end of January 2005.

This issue will be addressed at the city council meeting on October 26.

Other critical agreements to be reached regarding property exchange, utility and cost sharing with BART are anticipated to be finalized by the end of the year.

Construction that started last August was halted due to the need for a biological opinion from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding the California Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma californiense) which is considered at threatened species. That opinion is expected to be completed in November.

The main Grade Separation contract is tentatively scheduled for bid advertisement in February 2005, with an award and beginning construction in June or July of 2005.

The total duration of construction is estimated to be between 37 to 38 months. Completion of the project is anticipated by September/October 2008.

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