BART to San Jose? Construction is coming sooner than you think

Freeman

After more than 20 years of planning, financial woes and political strife, transit officials say that in 2024 they expect to start construction on the tunnel that will allow BART trains to roll into downtown San Jose. What may seem like another item checked off a planner’s list is in […]

After more than 20 years of planning, financial woes and political strife, transit officials say that in 2024 they expect to start construction on the tunnel that will allow BART trains to roll into downtown San Jose.

What may seem like another item checked off a planner’s list is in fact an auspicious development: an extension that for decades was a maddening mirage on BART’s map appears to finally be within reach.

“Honestly, it’s feeling really positive right now,” project spokesperson Bernice Alaniz said Saturday afternoon, a day after representatives of BART and Valley Transportation Authority met to discuss funding and possible design alterations for the 6-mile, four station extension, projected to open in 2030.

Among the tweaks being considered is a center boarding platform for the three underground stations: 28th Street/Little Portugal, downtown San Jose and Diridon. This configuration would allow tracks to run side by side for 6 miles — rather than stacked in the style of a double-decker freeway — within the single-bore tunneling method to which both agencies agreed.

This arrangement would also enable contractor Kiewit Shea Traylor to build “shallower” stations, with a short ascent to the street, according to a blog post by VTA. Riders could potentially enter the downtown San Jose station from both the north and south sides of Santa Clara Street, making access easier.

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