train station update 8_18_14

An Amtrak train passes by Peabody Road, in Fairfield, near where the overcrossing and adjacent train station stop are to be built. The city is soliciting bids for the project and will open bids in late September. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)


City reaches milestone for train station project

By From page A3 | August 20, 2014

FAIRFIELD — One of the biggest planned public works projects in recent Fairfield history – constructing the Peabody Road overcrossing and adjacent train station stop – is out to bid.

Fairfield will conduct a mandatory meeting Thursday for prospective bidders. It is to open bids at 2 p.m. Sept. 30. City Engineer Kevin Berryhill said the City Council could award the project late this year or in January 2015.

Whichever contractor wins the bid is to build a six-lane bridge to take Peabody Road over the Union Pacific railroad tracks, build a train boarding platform in the middle of two tracks and a tunnel to reach it, and install street lights and landscaping, among other things. The city estimates the construction work will cost $30 million to $34 million.

All this work must be done while keeping the freight trains and Capitol Corridor passenger trains running.

Traffic on Peabody Road is another matter. Peabody Road is to be closed at the railroad tracks near Vanden Road for one school year, from mid-June of 2015 to August 2016.

Peabody Road is a major link between Vacaville and Fairfield, a key road leading to Travis Air Force Base and a road used by parents taking students to Vanden High School and other local schools.

Fairfield considered having a partial closure of Peabody Road rather than a full closure. But a partial closure would add an extra year to the overpass work and $3 million to $4 million to the cost. The city conducted community meetings and decided in 2012 that a one-year closure is better than having traffic tie-ups for two years.

Peabody Road overpass work was to begin in June 2013 and then in June 2014. The start date got delayed as the city scrambled to pull together all the construction funding pieces.

Fairfield must still wrap up a few details before construction crews can get to work next summer, beyond awarding a bid. The California Transportation Commission in May agreed to provide $11 million for the project, with the city still having to make an allocation request.

The city has applied and the actual awarding of the money goes before the commission Wednesday. The staff recommendation is to award the $11 million “contingent upon approval of a budget revision by the Department of Finance.”

“It’s kind of like an accounting step, if you will,” Solano Transportation Authority Executive Director Daryl Halls said Monday. “We’re not hearing it’s going to be a problem.”

Berryhill said the city must also get permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Regional Water Quality Control Board. He did not foresee difficulties arising from the permits that could further delay the project.

The train stop for the Capitol Corridor passenger trains could be ready in 2017, Berryhill said. It could initially be only a stop, with a train station building to come later.

A Peabody Road overcrossing was tied to the train station project several years ago by Union Pacific, which owns the tracks. That condition fit in with Fairfield’s own plans to create a new community around the station, with stores, businesses and a few thousand residences.

Drivers approaching the existing at-grade crossing experience rush-hour backups when trains pass.

The entire train station project, including the station, is to cost about $81.5 million. That includes not only construction, but design, utility relocations and other costs.

Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Discussion | 16 comments

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  • CD BrooksAugust 19, 2014 - 5:54 am

    So one lane into three or will the project include widening Peabody to avoid the inevitable cluster at both ends of the bridge? "A few thousand residences?" I thought the plan was for 900? IMO the overpass is good, everything else, bad idea.

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  • SKAugust 19, 2014 - 6:40 am

    A totally bad idea in my opinion, that will necessitate the Amtrak train to slow down again, after just getting up some speed in both directions, an unnecessary stop IMO, and how many more residences????? Water>>Water, where will all that water come from for them all, if the drought has not ended, while the rest of us are asked to CUT BACK???!!! I've cut back 25% or better on my outside watering, but if those residences go up, I NO LONGER WILL!!!!!!!!!!

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  • SKAugust 19, 2014 - 6:47 am

    Which leads me to remind y'all of a previous comment if the drought does continue and all those residences go up, hat we have the BIGGEST reservoir just off our coast>>>>>VOTE NO on the up coming water bond!!!! Not a single voter should vote for this water bond. The only water bond that the voters should pass is a water bond that would put desalination plants at least ever 100 miles apart along the coast. They want to build more reservoirs??? Well the biggest one lies off our coast and will NEVER EVER be depleted, called the Pacific Ocean. power them up using what you ask (??), use wave or wind power. For now bring in modular temp units, than building more permanent ones later, and continue to use them, even after the drought ends, so they will not go into disrepair. And those two water tunnels (Governor Moonbeams Peripheral Canal 2.0) that the voters said NO TO 1.0 back in the 80s will not be needed, should NOT BE BUILT. But now all that I said would make too much common sense for any of the M_R_N politicians we have today!!!!!

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  • SKAugust 19, 2014 - 6:48 am

    TYPO ALERT, Meant, "THAT WE>>>"

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  • quartermouseAugust 19, 2014 - 7:37 am

    Why am I having a strong sense of deja vu with this story? Seems like we heard about this before and it didn't happen because the City couldn't get their act together. The whole train station is a bad idea and all it will be is a suburb of Vacaville.

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  • SKAugust 19, 2014 - 7:54 am

    Politicians in their usual WASTE TAX PAYERS money mode. Remember all this come election time!!!!

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  • JagAugust 19, 2014 - 8:54 am

    @ SK I was about to say the same thing, We do have an election and we are about to elect two new members, If we know they will vote no on any funding before we vote for them, this is a dead issue and Harry train station is over

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  • Dexter FowlerAugust 19, 2014 - 1:28 pm

    Ahhhhhh the unecessary train station. Destination ripoff!!! Once again I ask who owns the land? Who is profiting from this? I bet we would see a few very familiar names. Dont worry once it runs over budget (and you KNOW it will) the sheeple of fairfield will be coerced into voting for yet ANOTHER tax increase. Its so predictable if it wasnt so pathetic and costly it would be amusing.

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  • HeeHawAugust 19, 2014 - 2:35 pm

    Look at land ownership near the site - within a mile. One of the Supervisor's family may own a good deal of property which of course will increase in value. Or am I just being cynical?

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  • trish hamiltonAugust 19, 2014 - 7:59 pm

    will there ever be full disclosure??!! And yes Dex I think there should be someone out there in the local media that can dig up the benificiaries of this land/train fiasco! Is there any plan to widen Cement Hill Road before construction or will all the new traffic coming through goldridge be backed up hopelessly! NO TRAIN STATION NEEDED__Who asked for it? Spering, Billy Yarborough's heirs, Falati, Lessler, WHO??

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  • SKAugust 19, 2014 - 9:58 pm

    Whomever is for or against it, the voters must be kept up to date, when those candidates re-run, right here in the D.R. We must keep each other informed!!!

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  • HuckleberryAugust 19, 2014 - 2:07 pm

    Brien Thiemer is running for Fairfield City Council and he is against the train station.

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  • JagAugust 19, 2014 - 8:35 pm

    Thanks berry I will take a good look at Brian

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  • MarkAugust 19, 2014 - 3:25 pm

    so what happens when the bids come back substantially higher than the city is expecting? who covers the difference?

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  • Bait and Switch.....August 20, 2014 - 4:23 pm

    Mark, that won't happen. If anything, they've been 'told' (wink, wink) to come in under bid and worry about rising costs later. After all, you can't leave the station half finished, can you?

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  • gmlgrahamAugust 19, 2014 - 8:45 pm

    Prefer BART!!!!

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