San Jose BART Extension Kicks Off Thursday

Groundbreaking set fornNew South Bay extension.

BART's planned extension to San Jose will kick off, rain or shine. Groundbreaking on the Santa Clara County extension is set for Thursday.

The Fremont-to-East San Jose extension is considered the biggest public works project ever in Silicon Valley, with a price tag of $3.2 billion. Several key streets--MIssion Boulevard, Warren Avenue, Kato Road, Dixon Landing Road, and Sierra Road--will be torn up and replaced to accommodate BART tracks.

The list of folks who will be handling the shovels is a who's who of Bay Area politics:

  • Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein
  • Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren
  • Congressman Michael Honda
  • Former U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta
  • San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed

A Valley Transportation Authority spokeswoman tells the Mercury News, drivers can expect to see a lot of orange cones and lane closures and plenty of dirt being moved around as the digging begins. More than 33,300 truckloads will be needed to move 850,000 cubic yards of dirt.

Construction on the San Jose extension should be finished by 2015, with the full extension from Fremont opening a year later.

BART will run mostly at street level, but will go underground north of Montague. North of Berryessa Road, BART will run 35 feet above ground level.

There's a lot of rerouting and rebuilding that will need to happen to accommodate BART trains. Later this month, Kato Road will be closed for nine months so that crews can lower it 16 feet into the ground.

This summer, buildings will be torn down at Montague Expressway and Berryessa Road, where new stations will be built. And Mission Boulevard in South Fremont will be even more congested than usual.

So keep an eye out for those orange cones.

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