SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Caltrain has declared a state of emergency regarding a very old bridge in San Francisco that's deteriorating very rapidly.
Caltrain's commuter and freight trains use the Quint St. Bridge on the Peninsula corridor.
Caltrain is working on an emergency plan to repair the Quint St. Bridge and are trying to do it as quickly as possible to minimize the inconvenience to the neighborhood. ABC7 News was told that the planning should take about a week and then two more weeks for the repair work to be completed.
The century old bridge is in bad shape. The floor beams are corroding at an alarming rate, sections are cracking, flanges are breaking and there are now holes in the rusting beams.
Caltrain has been inspecting the Quint St. Bridge every month. Last week, the Caltrain board declared an emergency.
"The bridge has deteriorated more rapidly than we anticipated, so we're going to have to do some emergency repairs," Caltrain spokesperson Christine Dunn said.
Trains approaching the bridge have been slowed to 10 miles an hour to help reduce further damage.
Louie martinez commutes on Caltrain from San Jose.
"It just slows down as it comes out of the tunnel. It just starts slowing down," Caltrain rider Louie Martinez said. "Wow, man, I hope they get it fixed quick, you know."
"We're going to sandwich the steel beams in more steel and that will stabilize them," Dunn said. "We are planning to build an earthen berm with a connector road between Quint Street and Jerrold Street."
Many who live near the bridge say they want the connector road built before Quint Street is closed for repairs.
The road is a shortcut that allows drivers to avoid the heavy traffic of Third Street, a main corridor in the Bayview District.
Damika Kelley uses that shortcut.
"It's a convenient way of getting to where I need to go and I actually work on Evans so I go that way to get there faster," she said.
But because of the urgency of the repairs, Caltrain may have to begin work before a connector road is built.
Final approval to close Quint Street rests with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Crews working on plan to repair Quint St. Bridge in San Francisco