SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) – Work crews have spent the last three weeks shoring up hillsides that has been plagued by slides along the route of the SMART train project under construction in Marin County.

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) is a passenger rail and bicycle-pedestrian pathway project located in both Marin and Sonoma counties.

Once completed, the train service will serve a 70-mile corridor from San Rafael to Santa Rosa with the hopes it will lessen traffic on the heavily congested Highway 101 corridor.

Currently, crews are constructing the trackway near San Rafael, but slides near the intersection of Red Rock Way and Los Ranchitos Road have slowed progress.

The crews have been busy clearing the slides and also installing netting to capture debris tumbling down the hillsides in the future.

“We have had a couple slides this year,” SMART chief engineer Bill Gamlen told KPIX 5.

But he said the slides likely would not have endangered the trains themselves if they currently were running.

“We probably would have been fine,” he said. “The material didn’t land directly on the track itself.”

Gamlen said the work of shoring up the hillsides will be finished soon.

“We’ll be wrapping up the work this weekend,” he said. “We’ll be ready for train testing next week.”

Trains may be running on the tracks within a few months.


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