25th Avenue Grade Separation Project

25th Grade Separation Project renderingProject Description:

We are committed to improving safety, traffic flow and reducing train noise for our residents. In 1999, we started planning the project that is now known as the 25th Grade Separation Project. 

The $180 million Caltrain project is comprised of funding from the San Mateo County Transportation Authority, California High Speed Rail Authority, California State Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and the City of San Mateo. The City of San Mateo is the sponsoring partner.

The project will raise the train tracks, and slightly lower the road (grade separate), at E. 25th Avenue, and will create new east-west street connections at 28th and 31st avenues. As part of the project's overall improvements, Caltrain will also build a new elevated Hillsdale Station with updated amenities at E. 28th Avenue.

This will improve safety for both motorists and pedestrians, and it will reduce local traffic congestion in San Mateo. Construction began in 2017 with an official groundbreaking. The project is in conformance with the San Mateo Rail Corridor Transit Oriented Development Plan.

Planning for the Hillsdale Station Closure

As part of the Project, Caltrain will need to temporarily close Hillsdale Station for six months in spring 2020. During the closure, the downtown San Mateo Station and Hayward Park Station will remain open, and normal Hillsdale train service will move 2.2 miles south to the Belmont Station in neighboring Belmont, Ca. 

To help riders during this temporary closure, Samtrans bus service on El Camino Real between Hillsdale and Belmont will be no charge, and Caltrain is enhancing its free shuttles between Belmont and Hillsdale. 

Have you signed up for 25th Grade Separation Project email updates? Click here to add your email.

Why Belmont Station? 

When planning for the station closure, Caltrain examined moving service to Hayward Park Station. Only a few locations between San Francisco to San Jose allow bullet trains to pass safely. Hayward Park Station does not provide an opportunity to let the express trains pass, and added stops there would cause system-wide delays. Thus, Belmont Station was selected as a temporary station while Hillsdale Station is closed for six months. Another factor considered was parking. 

Hillsdale Station has approximately 518 spaces available that are often at 100 percent occupancy. Hayward Park Station has 213 spaces but due to private development are now at approximately 140 available parking spaces. See the 'recent presentations' section below for the last two presentation to our City's leadership, detailing the station decision. 

Rail Bridge Installations 

25th Grade - 31st Rail Bridge Installation - Oct. 30 2019

A key part of the project’s enhancement of east-west connectivity in San Mateo is the development of new roads at 28th and 31st avenues. On Oct. 30 and 31, 2019 crews positioned steel beams into place over 31st Avenue (pictured, at right), marking the last of the rail bridges to be installed on the project. 

This marks a new stage now that the rail bridges at 25th, 28th, 31st avenues, along with the pedestrian bridge to the future Hillsdale Station are each in place. 

Crews can now begin building the new roads that will allow improved traffic flow near Hillsdale Boulevard and better — and faster — access for emergency vehicles in our City. 

You can now watch a time-lapse of each rail bridge installation: E. 25th Avenue in July 2019, 28th Avenue in September 2019 and 31st Avenue in October 2019

Recent Presentations

Caltrain made its latest project presentation to San Mateo City Council on July 15, 2019. Click here to view the presentation (starts at hour 2:30). On May 8, 2019, Caltrain presented its latest project update to San Mateo's S&I Commission (starts at minute 08:50).

How can you get project updates?

For weekly construction updates and to register for the weekly project emails, visit Caltrain's project website.