BART South Bay extension still on track for 2030 opening, VTA to issue first major contracts next summer

A BART train arrives at the Pleasant Hill BART station in Walnut Creek, Calif. on Monday, February 1, 2021. (Ray Saint Germain/Bay City News Foundation)

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is expected to issue its first two major contracts next summer for the construction of BART's extension into downtown San Jose and Santa Clara, BART officials said Thursday.

The VTA, which is designing and developing the extension in concert with BART is expected to award contracts next summer for rail systems and for tunneling and track work, BART's Assistant General Manager for Planning, Development and Construction told the agency's Board of Directors Thursday.

The following summer, the VTA is expected to award contracts for the construction of underground transit stations in downtown San Jose and an above-ground station and rail yard in Santa Clara.

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The six-mile extension into the heart of Santa Clara County is expected to cost roughly $6.8 billion and be largely completed by 2028, with a targeted opening in 2030, according to BART officials. 

The extension will include four new stations at 28th Street in San Jose's Little Portugal, in downtown San Jose near the intersection of Santa Clara and Market streets, the San Jose Diridon rail depot and a ground-level station just north of Avaya Stadium in Santa Clara as well as more than four miles of rail tunnel along Santa Clara Street in downtown San Jose.

BART, VTA and other South Bay officials christened the first phase of the South Bay extension in June 2020, with the opening of BART stations in northern San Jose's Berryessa neighborhood and Milpitas.