Caltrain grade separation

  • Project typeTraffic and transportation

The existing Ravenswood Avenue Caltrain crossing is a critical rail crossing within Menlo Park. It is within the El Camino Real/Downtown Specific Plan Area and falls within the City’s Priority Development Area. The project would fund the additional scope of work requested by the City Council in 2018 to evaluate a fully elevated alternatives and advance engineering design of a chosen preferred alternative.

This project evaluated the engineering feasibility of replacing the existing at-grade crossings of the Caltrain tracks by building grade separations of the roadways from the tracks at Ravenswood Avenue, Oak Grove Avenue, Glenwood Avenue and Encinal Avenue, with priority on Ravenswood Avenue. 

Current status

This project evaluated two alternatives as directed by City Council:

  1. An underpass at Ravenswood Avenue only and leaving the remaining at-grade crossings open as existing
  2. A hybrid option that would grade separate Ravenswood, Oak Grove and Glenwood avenues, leaving Encinal Avenue open as existing

On March 5, 2019, City Council approved the final project study report(PDF, 16MB) with the hybrid option (Alternative C) grade separating Ravenswood, Oak Grove and Glenwood Avenues as the preferred alternative. Encinal Avenue would remain open and at-grade under this alternative. In October 2019, staff submitted an application in response to the California Public Utilities Commission's request for projects to prioritize this project location. 

Additional studies

Due to community feedback received when selecting the City's preferred alternative, City Council directed staff and the project team to develop a draft scope of work to potentially further evaluate a trench/tunnel and fully elevated alternatives. That draft scope of work was discussed by City Council on January 15, 2019, and subsequently at Rail Subcommittee meetings on April 22, July 16, and September 30. In addition, on May 21, 2019, City Council received a presentation from Professor Bennon of Stanford Global Project Center regarding financial feasibility of tunnels for rail.

On January 14, 2020, the City Council approved the revised scope of work and directed staff to consider additional visual impact studies at the direction of an ad hoc City Council subcommittee. More information will be posted here as the additional scope and cost is refined.

Contact us

Hugh Louch
Assistant Public Works Director - Transportation



554 Ravenswood Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025  View map

Google Map