BART to shutdown two stretches of track this weekend; detours in place

- At the West Oakland BART station, passengers will still be able to get to where they want to go on Saturday and Sunday, but just not as quickly.

"It will be pretty inconvenient. I commute to work. That's why I ride the line," said passenger Manny August of Walnut Creek.

BART will be closing off the tracks all weekend long between the West Oakland Station and the 19th Street Station, and between West Oakland and Lake Merritt stations.

Those planning to head from the East Bay into San Francisco, for instance, will have to get off at 19th Street, then take a special bus to the West Oakland Station, and wait for another BART train to get into the city. Then they will have to do the reverse coming back.

BART says the buses will be synchronized with the trains arriving.

"I'm probably going to have to drive," said one passenger.

"Riding a train between West Oakland and 19th Street typically takes six minutes. The estimate for the bus ride is 10-15 minutes," said BART spokeswoman Anna Duckworth.

The reason for the inconvenience is track improvement, including new rails and switches that can shift trains between tracks.

"We're actually replacing an entire stretch of rail, so it is going to make it less loud. The clackety-clack is going to go away. It won't be as bumpy a ride," said Duckworth.

Perhaps the biggest events this weekend are the Oakland A's games at the Coliseum. Saturday's 6:00 p.m. start also includes a fireworks show.

One fan says he's going, but he's not happy.

"I work all week and I want to relax on BART. That detour is a big headache for me," said R.J. Jackson.

BART says regular service should be restored Monday morning, though more track work and more weekend disruptions are scheduled in another three weeks. 

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