Good news for VTA's BART Silicon Valley Project
Over many months, VTA and BART have been sharply focused on overcoming hurdles that have tried to derail the long-time goal of bringing critical transportation solutions to Santa Clara County. At a special VTA Board of Director’s meeting today, the public received an update on the second, 6-mile phase into downtown San Jose and Santa Clara that radiated progress and partnerships.
VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II Project has reached a critical decision point. Since last summer, VTA began advancing the conceptual design of a larger single-bore tunnel with side-by-side tracks within the tunnel. Earlier this year, engineering on the larger diameter tunnel reached a 10% design level indicating higher projected risks and costs beyond the funding available. VTA also held an industry forum to share project information with prime and subcontractors and tunneling experts. Following this forum, we received feedback from tunneling contractors that due to the higher risks associated with the larger tunnel, they may be less inclined to bid on the project, thus reducing competition and increasing prospective bids. Higher projected costs and associated risks required us to take a step back and review the options for moving forward with delivering on our long-standing promise to build a 16-mile extension of the regional BART system.
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