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Officials – NBC Bay Area

BART and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority are on track to begin construction of BART’s Downtown San Jose Extension by 2024, officials from the two transit agencies announced Friday.

BART and VTA design and construction officials told a joint meeting that tunneling and other heavy station construction activities are expected to begin in earnest within the next two years barring unforeseen delays. .

The six-mile, four-station expansion will add four new stations to 28th Street in San Jose’s little Portugal, near the intersection of Santa Clara and Market streets in downtown San Jose, San Jose Railroad Depot Diridon and a ground level station near PayPal. Park in Santa Clara.

The extension will include more than four miles of rail tunnel under downtown San Jose along Santa Clara Street. BART and VTA officials plan to dig under the city to build the tunnel rather than cut Santa Clara Street to build the tunnel and then reseal the roadway, a method known as “cut and cover.”

“What’s important to us is to build the best project, the fairest project that connects the Bay Area and our communities in ways we never thought possible,” said the director. of BART’s board of directors, Janice Li.

Under previous design proposals, BART’s underground stations would be enclosed in a single tunnel bore, with the platforms for northbound and southbound trains stacked on top of each other.

However, officials said on Friday that the proposed underground station designs would now include a single platform sandwiched between parallel tracks for trains traveling in both directions, a design similar to BART stations like that of the Embarcadero station in San Francisco.

The modification – suggested by project design and build contractor Kiewit Shea Traylor Joint Venture, or KST – would widen the bore of the proposed tunnel by about five feet and is expected to be easier to maintain, cheaper to build and more efficient access for both jumpers and emergency responders.

The single deck is also expected to improve tunnel ventilation, according to Takis Salpeas, project manager for the San Jose extension, as it will include a 13-by-17-foot cavity under the tracks.

“You can drive a van under it,” Salpeas said. “People can go under there and work if necessary.” BART, VTA and other South Bay officials christened the first phase of the South Bay expansion in June 2020, with the opening of BART stations in the Berryessa neighborhood of North San Jose and Milpitas.

The San Jose and Santa Clara expansion, which will be the second phase, is expected to cost about $6.8 billion and be largely complete by 2028.

Funding to complete the project is expected to come in part from federal grants, either from the U.S. Federal Transit Administration or other sources within the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Testing and certification of the extension is expected to take approximately two years once construction is complete. Passenger service through San Jose would begin in 2030 under the current schedule.