San Jose Bart Extension Could Be Delayed Until 2034, Increase in Cost by $4.4 Billion

A report attained by the Mercury News uncovers information regarding the BART Silicon Valley Phase II Project that will come as a surprise to anyone paying attention to recent federal support for the project.

2 minute read

February 21, 2022, 8:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

San Jose BART Station Plan

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority / 28th Street/Little Portugal station conceptual rendering.

The opening of BART's San Jose extension could be delayed until 2034—a four-year increase of the current timeline, according to a Federal Transit Administration (FTA) report acquired by the Mercury News through a Public Records Act request.

Reporting the scoop for the Mercury News, Maggie Angst shares the revelations contained in the FTA's report. In addition to the increasing timeline, the report also shows a budget exceeding original estimates.

"[F]ederal officials indicated late last year that the project could rise to $9.1 billion — $4.4 billion over the VTA’s initial cost estimate and $2.2 billion over the agency’s most recent projection," reports Angst.

According to Angst, the review was part of the Expedited Project Delivery (EPD) Pilot Program, a new federal program designed to streamline federal funding to transit projects. In an October press release announcing the EPD funding, the VTA was still targeting 2030 for project completion and a $6.9 billion price tag.

The BART Silicon Valley Phase II Project, as the project is officially known, includes four stations, a maintenance facility, and five miles of subway tunnel, and will extend BART service from the newly opened Berryessa Station in northeast San Jose through downtown San Jose into the city of Santa Clara. The project is the largest infrastructure project Santa Clara County history and is under the authority of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority.

The BART Silicon Valley Phase II project has attracted heated criticism in the past for exorbitant costs connected to questionable design, engineering, and planning decisions, including an episode in March 2021 that made the Planetizen newswire.

Friday, February 18, 2022 in The Mercury News

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