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San Tomas Improvements Between Homestead and El Camino

Last modified: 5/2/2014 4:06 PM
Project Scope:

The San Tomas Improvements project consists of two concurrent projects that have different funding sources: the San Tomas Widening and the San Tomas Aquino Spur Trail.

San Tomas Widening:

  • Extend the 4 southbound thru lanes that currently reduce from 4 to 3 south of El Camino Real, to south of Homestead, and make similar improvements northbound. When additional money becomes available, the plan is to extend 4 lanes each direction further south at least through Stevens Creek.
  • Replace the existing 5’to 6’ walls with a 10’ wall
  • Install sidewalk along east side, leaving utilities
  • Maintain a 6’ to 8’ shoulder available for bicycle use.
  • Modify the intersection at Homestead to allow for 4 thru expressway lanes each direction and install double left turn lanes from Homestead.
San Tomas Aquino Spur Trail:

  • This project will extend the existing trail on the west side from where it currently stops at El Camino, south to Homestead, crossing Benton.
  • Replace the existing 5’to 6’ walls with a 10’ wall
  • Maintain a 6’ minimum shoulder on the expressway available for bicycle use.
  • Modify the Benton intersection to improve pedestrian access and safety, accommodating the trail and widening projects.

Benefits of the Planned Improvements

Extension of the San Tomas Aquino Creek trail on the west side of San Tomas provides for a direct link to bike lanes on Benton and Homestead, connecting the trail to neighborhoods, retail and schools.  The trail extension is the result of Santa Clara’s public planning process for this corridor.Replacement of sound walls with significantly higher walls to cut down on expressway noise and improve privacy for those closest to wall

The project allows for one additional vehicular traffic lane in each direction, matching the four lanes in each direction north of El Camino, for better operation of the expressway, and to reduce user delay.  The additional lanes have been planned since the 2003 Expressway Planning Study, on-line at

Better operating expressway helps ensure high speed commute traffic stays on the expressway and does not overflow into adjacent neighborhoods.

Better operating expwy reduces delay time of commuters and dramatically reduces resultant stopped vehicle emissions, a good thing for the environment.

Homestead intersection improvements alleviate a bottleneck at this intersection, also reducing delay.

Finished shoulders will be sufficiently wide for bike use (7’-8’ NB; 6’ SB).

Pavement surface gets a new finish treatment.

Part of the project funding comes from Santa Clara development mitigation fees, which have a sunset date and must be used now.  The remainder comes from a federal grant.

This project is possible through a partnership of the Valley Transportation Authority, the City of Santa Clara, and the County of Santa Clara.

Tree Removal:

Although the widening and trail installation necessitate tree removal, replacement of sound wall work alone would require removing the trees. Trees to be removed will be replaced to the extent possible by providing new trees to adjacent properties for planting in their backyard.  This is the only option as there will not be planting space available along the road.  Because this option is voluntary, there might not be an equal number of replacements for all the removals.  To compensate, the project will provide offset trees to other interested residents in the nearby area.  The trees will be owned and maintained by the residents that request them.