FAIRFIELD — Fairfield’s planned Big Shutdown on Peabody Road near Vanden Road will start in June 2014, rather than June 2013.
The city will build a Peabody Road overpass over the train tracks as part of its $54 million train station project. The project entails closing Peabody Road between Vanden Road and Huntington Drive for one year.
Before the city starts building the overpass, it has some smaller chores to complete.
About 16 different utility lines involving 10 to 12 companies have to be relocated, Public Works Director George Hicks said. These range from fiber-optics lines to jet fuel lines to telecommunication lines, he said.
“It’s everything you can think of and things you didn’t even know existed,” Hicks said.
The number of utility lines is high in the area because the project involves railroad right of way, a common site for such lines.
Dealing with the utility relocations has affected the city’s timing on the project. In addition, the city wants to start the closure during the month of June, so the yearlong work will affect school traffic for only one school year.
Given these and other factors, the closure is to start one year later than the June 2013 date mentioned at a February workshop.
“Everything is going smoothly,” Hicks said. “It’s just a lot of people to coordinate with.”
Peabody Road is a major link between eastern Vacaville and eastern Fairfield and is also used by residents in nearby neighborhoods. A typical morning finds people heading to Travis Air Force Base, Vanden High School, Golden West Middle School and other nearby destinations.
Fairfield officials have talked about drivers using Cement Hill Road and Clay Bank Road as a detour during the closure. They’ve also talked about people traveling between Vacaville and Fairfield using Interstate 80 instead of Peabody Road and people going to Travis Air Force Base from Vacaville using the base’s north gate entrance.
Once the project is finished, drivers will no longer have to wait at the crossing arms on Peabody Road when trains go by. They will have a four-lane overcrossing, rather than a two-lane road passing over the tracks.
City officials considered keeping this segment of Peabody Road open during the overpass construction, but that would make the project take twice as long to complete and would cost an extra $3 million, they said.
Union Pacific required the overpass to allow Fairfield to build a proposed train station along the company’s tracks near Vanden Road.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.