CALTRANS WIDENING PROJECT PROCEEDING

(Update as of November 8, 2015: (City of) Burlingame continues to negotiate with Caltrans to explore alternatives acceptable to both parties that do not necessitate the widening of El Camino Real.)

After almost 2 years of inaction, and in particular, no response to Burlingame and Hillsborough’s “Operational Changes” suggested for piloting on a test basis to reduce left-turn related accidents at Floribunda, before resorting to widening the highway for a fifth lane, Caltrans has notified the Cities and the Burlingame Historical Society of its application to the State Historic Preservation Office for concurrence with a “Finding of No Effect” regarding the widening of the highway for a length of 644 ft. on the eastside of El Camino Real, and 427 feet on the westside, and thus the permanent loss of 14 trees, only 5 of which they propose to replace elsewhere. It appears that widening was the only alternative they ever intended to use. The original paved width of the historic highway is roughly 43ft, and the “improved” width will be closer to 60ft, thus no room for trees, and only a minimal sidewalk.  No mention is made of the other 9 trees, many of which protect the condos, apartments, and pedestrians from being hit, nor the adverse effects  of the permanent void they’re going to create. This is the most historic block of Burlingame and Hillsborough; the Burlingame Country Club cottages settlement was built here on speculation prior to the later development of both cities; three “cottages” still exist, two of which remain along the highway, constructed just prior to the related Burlingame Railroad station. The homes themselves will not be damaged, but it appears their surroundings will be diminished. It is unlikely that Caltrans’ widening projects will end at this intersection, they’ve wanted to widen El Camino Real for a century. Comments to the State Office of Historic Preservation by August 21, 2015 to: (reference Caltrans Floribunda Project FOE.)

Julianne Polanco:
Office of Historic Preservation
1725 23rd Street, Suite, 100
Sacramento, CA 95816
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