The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority wants the one thing that has never been done before in the U.S. to be, well, done. However, it is not a done deal.
Rising material and labor costs are now impacting the BART extension into downtown San Jose. The project will include the use of single-bore technology, a first in the U.S., to mine the subway tunnel to minimize disruptions at street level.
The extension will be the largest infrastructure project in Santa Clara County history, but there is now a $1.66 billion funding gap that needs to be filled by October 2023 or a $2.3 billion federal funding commitment will be lost.
A recent analysis by the Federal Transit Administration predicts the cost of the project will escalate and it will take until 2034 to complete. The Valley Transportation Authority has the project set at $6.9 billion and finished in 2030. However, the latest federal government cost projection is $9.15 billion.
California recently reports a huge budget surplus which could be used to help fill the funding gap. However, the Valley Transportation Authority also is struggling to pay operating costs for BART, and some officials wonder how the agency will be able to take on additional service via the extension.