Friday, April 13, 2012

Construction begins on BART rail extension to Silicon Valley

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The Santa Clara Valley Construction Authority broke ground on a 10-mile extension of the San Fancisco Bay Area Rapid Transit rail system out to Silicon Valley that will provide a new choice for residents who commute to the high-tech corridor each day.

The U.S. Department of Transportation last month approved $900 million in Federal Transit Administration funds for the project.

The Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension Project involves the construction of two new stations in Milpitas and Berryessa and the purchase of 40 new passenger rail cars. This New Starts investment continues the planned 16-mile BART Silicon Valley extension, bringing transit service to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara County.

Once completed, the new rail segment will be part of a 119-mile BART network connecting Santa Clara County with San Mateo, San Francisco, Contra Costa and Alameda counties. FTA funds comprise 38.6 percent of the $2.3 billion project. The balance is financed with $1.4 billion in funds from the State of California Traffic Congestion Relief Program and local sales taxes approved by Santa Clara voters in 2000 and 2008.

Once train service begins, the 10-mile extension will serve 23,000 average daily passengers opening year. It is estimated that a total of 18,000 direct and indirect jobs will be attributed to the project, with an average of 2,500 during the five busiest years of construction.

The first major design and construction contract, valued at $772 million for the line, track, systems and stations, was awarded in December of 2011 to Design Builder Skanska-Shimmick-Herzog, a Joint Venture.

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