Planning officials to study possible teardown of I-280 segment for rail connection

A stretch of Interstate 280, aka the John F. Foran Freeway, dissects much of the southern reaches of San Francisco and has its terminus at Fourth and King streets.

Now the seeds are being planted for the potential transformation of the northernmost stretch of the old “southern freeway” as far south as Mariposa Street to make way for new rail links, among other projects in the area.

The tearing down of a segment of I-280 will be explored as part of a feasibility study, the Planning Department announced this week. The project would replace the freeway segment with a surface avenue and potentially relocate the Fourth and King rail yard for the construction of high-speed rail and a handful of other planning efforts.

“One of the main challenges that we face in our city is to plan and build a reliable transportation infrastructure for the greater Bay Area region,” Planning Director John Rahaim said in a statement. “By launching the Railyard Alternatives and I-280 Boulevard Feasibility Study, we are taking one step closer towards completing multiple transportation projects, such as the Downtown Rail Extension, Caltrain Electrification, and High Speed Rail service.”

Requests for proposals are due Feb. 28 and the department hopes to have chosen someone to conduct the study by June. The study is the earliest look at the potential costs and benefits of a matrix of projects in the area.

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