SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - A major project is underway at BART stations in downtown San Francisco.
BART is replacing original high voltage cable that dates back to the 1960s, "They're beginning to leak their insulation materials, they're becoming unreliable, sometimes they completely fail, and we don't have any electricity," said BART spokesperson Jim Allison.
The old cable will be swapped out with new electrical cable. The work is funded by voter-approved Measure RR and will cost $488 million.
Allison said the new equipment is high quality and made with a synthetic rubber material that encases the cable. The old cable is surrounded by pressurized nitrogen and that's what's leaking.
The new cable could last up to 70 years.
"It's particularly important because in downtown San Francisco we're going to have a new train control system that will allow us to run more trains through the system and that means more power needs to go to the tracks," said Allison.
September 22nd was the first day of work. Crews installed piping and eventually they'll run the new cable through the pipe and remove the old equipment.
During this work, BART will be single tracking through Embarcadero and 24th St. Mission stations on October 20th and every Sunday in November and December.
The first phase between Embarcadero and 24th St. Mission stations will continue through 2021. The second phase between 24th and Balboa Park will start in 2022.