A who's who of Bay Area politics made their way to San Jose Thursday for the long awaited groundbreaking ceremony of the BART to San Jose extension project.
The smiles and hand shaking began at 2 p.m. as local, state and federal officials celebrated the first phase of a planned 16 mile extension of BART to San Jose, Milpitas and Santa Clara.
It is considered the biggest public works project ever in Silicon Valley, with a price tag of $3.2 billion.
As of now, there is only enough money to complete the first phase of the project which will be a 10 mile - two station trip to Berryessa.
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Here is a list of folks on hand Thursday:
- Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator
- Norman Mineta, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
- Peter Rogoff, FTA Administrator
- Anna Eshoo, United States Congresswoman
- Zoe Lofgren, United States Congresswoman
- Mike Honda, United States Congressman
- Gray Davis, California Governor (ret.)
- Jim Beall, California State Assemblymember
- Ken Yeager, Santa Clara County Supervisor
- Scott Haggerty, Alameda County Supervisor
- Tom Blalock, BART Board of Directors
- Chuck Reed, City of San Jose Mayor
- Pete McHugh, City of Milpitas Mayor
- Carl Guardino, President and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
- Michael T. Burns, VTA General Manager
"The BART extension is a key investment in our transportation infrastructure that will benefit our residents and encourage companies to keep and add jobs in the region," Reed said in a statement.
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Over the next few years several key streets - including Mission Boulevard, Warren Avenue, Kato Road, Dixon Landing Road, and Sierra Road - will be torn up and replaced to accommodate the new train tracks.
A Valley Transportation Authority spokeswoman told the Mercury News this week that more than 33,300 truckloads or 850,000 cubic yards of dirt will be moved.http://www.mercurynews.com/bart/ci_20365718/expect-trucks-dirt-bart-construction-gets-under-way
This is not the only shovel ready project getting underway in the South Bay. Next Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers will also break ground on a new $1.2 billion Santa Clara stadium. The 1.85 million square foot facility will seat 68,000 and is expected to open in time for the 2014 season.
The BART project is also expected to open its Warm Springs station in 2014.