Those living in a county with double digit unemployment and one of the worst commutes in the nation just received two pieces of good news today. On Thursday, the BART Board of Directors awarded the second of two major construction contracts that will all but complete the long-awaited 5.4 mile Warm Springs Extension that’s designed to ease congestion while creating thousands of badly needed jobs.
In a unanimous vote, the Board authorized Interim General Manager Sherwood Wakeman to enter into a two-year contract worth $299,050,000 with Warm Springs Constructors of Fairfield, CA. The contractor will design and install the trackway and associated facilities as well as build the future Warm Springs BART Station, which will be nestled near the Alameda-Santa Clara County line some 5.4 miles from the current Fremont BART Station. The station should open in 2015.
“This is a double dose of good news for East Bay residents,” BART Board Member Thomas Blalock said. Blalock’s district includes the Fremont Station and the future Warm Springs Station. “In the short run, this means tens of thousands of jobs – many for local, out-of-work residents. In the long run, it means tens of thousands of East Bay commuters will be able to relax and ride environmentally-friendly BART instead of sitting frustrated and fuming at heavy 680 or 880 traffic while burning carbon-polluting, expensive gas.”
EXTENSION UNLOCKS GRIDLOCK’S GRIP ON THOUSANDS OF COMMUTERS
The Warm Springs Extension is the first step in connecting BART to the Silicon Valley – a much needed BART extension for the tens of thousands of commuters battling the gridlock on interstates 880 and 680 each day as they commute between their homes in Alameda County to their jobs in the Silicon Valley.
The Warm Springs Extension is part of a larger plan to extend BART to Silicon Valley. The Santa Clara County Valley Transportation Authority has taken the lead in the next phase of the project south of Warm Springs called the Berryessa Extension. It will be responsible for bringing BART that much closer to downtown San Jose. Work is scheduled to begin in 2012. More information is available at www.vta.org/bart.
JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! – PROJECT CREATES 18,800 FOR EAST BAY & NATION
This contract alone, which will go to Warm Springs Constructors to design and build the train line, track and the future Warm Springs BART Station, will support 7,100 jobs in both Alameda County, which suffers from a 10.1% unemployment rate, and across the nation. The Warm Springs project overall will support some 18,800 jobs (Source: American Public Transportation Association).
WARM SPRINGS PROJECT IS $123 MILLION UNDER BUDGET
The bad economy has resulted in a good bidding environment for BART. As a result the $890 million project is $123 million under budget. This $299 million contract award is the second of the two major contracts for the extension. The Board awarded the first contract in July 2009 to build the Fremont Central Park subway. It was worth $140 million. The subway is now halfway completed.
Learn more about the Warm Springs Extension by visiting www.bart.gov/projects.