Questions for Caltrain?

Hi, All, I sent the questions posted below in the comments to Caltrain and copied Susanna Chan at the City of San Mateo. I’d encourage you to send questions in early to in hopes of getting more of our questions addressed.  Feel free to post them here in comments too. — Karen

One thought on “Questions for Caltrain?

  1. 1. Please confirm that the piles to support the retaining wall will be drilled and not driven. The posted typical retaining wall elevation makes no note.

    2. Has the depth of the water table been taken into account in terms of the drilled depth of the pilings? It is my understanding that our water table may be fairly shallow hereabouts, that such an investigation has been made for another nearby project, and from my own construction experience I know that might be a substantial problem.

    3. Please provide a section drawing of the retaining wall, confirming that a below ground footing or grade beam is not being used.

    4. Please provide a detailed elevation of the retaining wall showing the elevations of the wall at all points, with locations of neighboring lots and spacing of piles. We are all interested to find out what we will be seeing in out back yards, and rumors have been going around that the concrete portion of the wall may be 8 feet tall or more in some locations. The current elevation of the wall posted on the public site says simply that the noted elevation of 4′-8″ “varies” — with no maximum or minimum heights shown, nor any indication where it might be lower or higher.

    5. Please provide elevation drawings of each of the bridges (east, west, and interior or north/south faces), showing the new east-west width of the bridges, and what is planned to address graffiti concerns, lighting, and dumping issues.

    6. Please provide a detailed schedule showing specifically when construction is planned at each bridge and along each block. Notification of weekend work one day prior, as was the case in March (, constitutes no real notice.
    It is my understanding that the noise of the work– hard demolition, heavy equipment use, drilling, earthwork, compaction, track removal and placement–all will substantially affect us in our homes, day and night, during the week as well as on the weekends. Keeping the neighbors informed of the planned disruptions could and should start now. If there is ambiguity in the schedule, we can all understand that. But knowing, for example, that crews will be working behind our house for about a month approximately six months from now, would be extremely helpful.

    7. Please explain how this project is planning to minimize further impacts to the neighbors, and to the budget, of planned electrification. For instance, will future electrification require foundations for masts? And is this project planning for that in order to avoid duplication of excavation, ballast placement and removal, track removal and replacement? Even if this means that later a few incremental costs will be incurred (for a couple of extra masts to interface with the spacing decided upon now), it seems like a much better deal for the community and the taxpayers to avoid such substantial duplication of work.

    8. Have electrification planners been made aware of the new track heights so they may include them in their assessment of the various impacts to the surrounding area? The electrification Draft EIR appeared not to include the new height.

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