Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Construction to begin on subway section of Fremont BART extension

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On August 24, BART reached another milestone on a major phase of the Warm Springs Extension project that will ultimately bring BART closer to Silicon Valley. BART issued a "Notice to Proceed" to Shimmick Construction Company, Inc./Skanska USA Civil West California District Inc. Joint Venture, which will allow them to begin the extensive construction project that will create and support tens of thousands of jobs and help stimulate Bay Area economy.

"Construction to extend BART service 5.4 miles southward to a new station in Fremont's Warm Springs District will begin this fall," BART Board President Thomas Blalock said. "I am pleased to announce that the final bid for this long-awaited phase of the extension is $136 million - 45 percent below our original engineer's estimate of $249 million."

This is the first contract of a two-contract project and it is for the construction of the underground phase of the extension. Later this year, the second contract for the aboveground elements-including the line, trackwork, station and systems-is anticipated to be advertised for bid, with construction slated for 2010.

According to the American Public Transportation Association's economic formula, both phases of the work will create and support an estimated 26,700 direct and indirect job opportunities. It involves constructing the Warm Springs Extension alignment between Walnut Avenue and the eastern side of Fremont Central Park. Preliminary work to prepare for right-of-way construction includes tree and shrub removal, utility relocation and erecting fencing. Once that phase is done, the crews will begin early critical activities.

Keeping the park open to the public as the extension is under way is a key priority. To achieve this, crews will relocate the dog park, basketball courts and some parking to an adjacent area in the park. These facilities must be complete and open to the public before the existing amenities are taken out of service to make way for further construction.

BART anticipates that the subway construction will last for approximately three and a half years and the station will open for business in 2014.

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