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August 20, 2010 > 'On schedule and under budget'

'On schedule and under budget'

By Simon Wong

Images courtesy of BART

According to Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) spokesperson Linton Johnson, the Warm Springs Extension, 5.4-miles of new BART track from the current Fremont Station to a new station in Warm Springs, Fremont, with an optional station at Irvington is "on schedule and under budget."

Designed to enhance mass transit in the Southeast Bay Area, it will relieve congestion on I-880 between Contra Costa, Alameda and Santa Clara counties, foster "smart growth" and improve the regional transit network. Additional benefits will create opportunities for transit-oriented development, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants, help reduce transportation energy consumption, improve energy efficiency, increase transit ridership, reduce vehicle-miles-traveled by cars and buses and serve as a gateway to Santa Clara County.

The alignment, which is consistent with plans to extend BART to San Jose, crosses over Walnut Avenue; under Stevenson Boulevard, Fremont Central Park and the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) track in a subway; over Paseo Padre Parkway; under Washington Boulevard; under Auto Mall Parkway; and over South Grimmer Boulevard.

Warm Springs will be a transit hub where passengers can transfer between BART, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) and AC Transit buses, taxi and passenger drop-off areas. Parking for approximately 2,000 vehicles is planned.

In 2008, the Warm Springs Policy Advisory Committee merged with the Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor (SVRTC) Policy Advisory Board. The Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA), which administers Alameda County's Measure B half-cent transportation sales tax, is working with VTA, the SVRTC Project sponsor, to extend BART beyond Warm Springs to Milpitas, San Jose and Santa Clara.

Two large construction contracts are included in the Warm Springs Extension - Fremont Central Park Subway - Stage 1 - and the Line, Track, Station and Systems (LTSS) - Stage 2.

The Stage 1 Fremont Central Park Subway contract was awarded to the low bidder, Shimmick/Skansa Joint Venture in the amount of $137M (45 percent below Engineer's Estimate) on May 28, 2009. BART issued a Notice to Proceed with construction on August 24, 2009.

Construction of the mile-long Subway began in September 2009 and will last until early 2013. It consists of an embankment south of Walnut Avenue and the BART subway from just north of Stevenson Boulevard, under Fremont Central Park, including a portion of Lake Elizabeth, and beneath the UPRR freight track to just north of Paseo Padre Parkway. Central Park amenities including the dog park, basketball courts and parking have been relocated to make way for two ventilation structures. The dog park re-opened on June 30, 2010.

Subway construction requires Cement Deep Soil Mixing (CDSM) and grout plugs. CDSM has been completed and grout plug operations are approximately 30 percent complete with on-going grouting and subway excavation. Grout work south of Lake Elizabeth was completed in June 2010 along with drainage of the lake and construction of the Lake Elizabeth coffer dam. Stage 1 is funded by ACTIA ($61m), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC - $138M) and by the State ($3.5M).

The Stage 2 LTSS contract requires the contractor to undertake final design and construction of the trackway, systems, connection with Fremont Station and the new Warm Springs Station. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was released on April 6, 2010. Qualifications were received from Tutor Perini/Parsons Joint Venture, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, Stacy and Witbeck Skansa Steiny Joint Venture, Kiewit Pacific Company and Shimmick/Flatiron/Herzog Joint Venture. The Request for Proposals (RFP) was issued in July 2010. An award of contract is expected in March 2011 with construction lasting from June 2011 to June 2014. Construction costs are estimated at $300M with anticipated funding of $421M.

Testing of the BART extension to Warm Springs will begin in April 2014 with live service expected by the end of 2014.

The total project cost amounts to $890M. ACTIA's commitment is $220.4M and BART's contribution is $24M. The project is fully funded.

Additionally, in May 2010, the VTA Board authorized a Design/Build process for the Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension. The ROD was awarded on June 24, 2010. A RFQ should be issued in late summer 2010.

VTA has worked with the MTC, the City of Milpitas and the community to identify local transportation needs and solutions to coordinate planning efforts for an integrated transit center serving bus, light rail, shuttles and BART when BART enters service to/from Milpitas in 2018.

For more information, visit www.bart.gov/warmsprings, email BartWarmSpringsExtension@bart.gov or call (510) 476-3900. There are informational kiosks and a community relations field office in Fremont Central Park.

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