Update on El Camino Real

The good news is that after a 3 year long study period, Caltrans has concluded that the widening project at Floribunda is not necessary, since the far less invasive (and cheaper) No Left Turn at Floribunda alternative that Burlingame fought for has resulted in a significant reduction of accidents.

Now the agency has taken recommendations by the El Camino Task Force, and proposed a much larger project that spans 3 miles: From East Santa Inez Ave. in San Mateo, north to the Millbrae border. This is the beginning of the process on a potential major new project, referred to as the El Camino Roadway Renewal Project, which according to Caltrans involves over 100 million dollar budget.

Caltrans is hosting an open house on Tuesday, January 28 from 6 – 8 pm at the Burlingame Recreation Center. At this meeting, Caltrans will share information about streetscape improvements being considered, including better drainage, landscaping, safer sidewalks and ADA compliance, and rehabilitation of pavement.

It should be expected that this plan, should it come to fruition, would involve removal of dozens of historically significant trees, as these risk becoming unstable and/or damaged during digging for new a new roadbed, sidewalks and drainage.

Key will be assurances of replanting trees that will emulate the historic character of our portion of the highway, with written agreements ensuring this living resource will be properly maintained for future generations. Caution is warranted, as Caltrans has not had a good record in this regard.

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