Decision Deadline Coming Fast for San Jose BART Extension

BART and VTA officials must come to an agreement about whether to use a single- or double-bore tunnel for transit extension in San Jose, and time is running out.

2 minute read

April 4, 2018, 10:00 AM PDT

By Casey Brazeal @northandclark

BART Station Construction

Brandon5485 / Wikimedia Commons

The four-station San Jose BART extension will be one of the largest extensions the system has ever received, but what those stations will look like is still up for debate. "Not only will it link the economic powerhouse of Silicon Valley to the East Bay and San Francisco, it will also connect BART to Caltrain and high-speed rail, transforming San Jose into a regional transit hub unlike any the Bay Area has ever seen," Erin Baldassari and Emily Deruy write for The Mercury News.

The decision comes down to the difference between a twin-bore or single-bore solution for tunneling. The more common twin bore would cut two tubes for trains to run on parallel tracks, with a platform in the middle. The single-bore alignment would cut one large tunnel and put the two tracks above one another. "To get funding and start construction in the next two years, the VTA’s governing board needs to make its decision by April 5, and BART must approve that recommendation by April 26," Baldassari and Deruy write.

The two approaches have different features, the single-bore solution, which the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) favors, would be a deeper cut and disrupt the street and utilities less during the construction period. A double-bore tunnel would have a larger platform and, because it wouldn't be different from other tunnels in the system, it would be less likely to cause confusion in the event of an emergency evacuation, BART officials contend.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018 in The Mercury News

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