FAIRFIELD — Fairfield continues to get ready for the Fairfield-Vacaville train station and Peabody Road overcrossing project, with the hope that major construction can begin next summer.
The City Council on Tuesday approved various agreements with Union Pacific Railroad necessary for the project to go forward.
Fairfield wants to build a $68 million project that includes a train station along Vanden Road and a bridge taking Peabody Road over the nearby railroad tracks. Traffic on busy Peabody Road must presently wait for trains behind crossing arms.
The city’s failure to get a $9 million federal grant this summer put the project’s construction schedule at risk. The original schedule called for closing Peabody Road at the tracks for a year starting in June 2014 to build the overpass.
But Fairfield officials want to design a stripped-down, base project that would allow one of the city’s largest public works projects in years to go ahead as planned.
Union Pacific owns the railroad tracks along which the train station is to be located. That requires Fairfield to complete several agreements with the railroad company to move forward. The agreements allow Fairfield to build the Peabody Road overpass and a tunnel at the planned train station leading to a central boarding platform between the tracks.
Union Pacific must give Fairfield the right to be in its right of way, city Associate Civil Engineer Thanh Vuong said on Monday.
One part of the agreements calls for Fairfield to pay Union Pacific to do various track relocation and signalization work. The city report estimates the cost to be $9 million.
“Track work is something the city is not allowed to do,” Vuong said. “Union Pacific Railroad, they won’t let anyone else do their track work.”
Money for the train station project is coming from state, federal and regional sources, not the city’s general fund.
The train station is to be the centerpiece of a community that Fairfield wants to see built near Peabody Road. That community is to someday have up to 6,800 homes, businesses, shops, a town plaza, parks and an industrial area.
Fairfield and Vacaville have sought to build Solano County’s second train station since the mid-1990s. The county’s only station and only stop for the Capitol Corridor passenger trains is in downtown Suisun City.
Initial plans for the station were much simpler, merely a station along the tracks that could be built at a cost of about $10 million. Over the years, the project grew more complicated and more expensive, with the Peabody Road overcrossing among the major elements added.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.
This version reflects action taken Tuesday by the City Council.