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Santa Clara VTA completes creek restoration as part of BART Silicon Valley project

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) has completed the Upper Penitencia Creek improvement project at site of the future Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Berryessa Station in San Jose, Calif., marking a milestone in the BART Silicon Valley project.

The biological restoration project will lessen the environmental impact of construction and improve the "highly degraded condition" of the Upper Penitencia Creek's eastern and northern banks, which previously were narrow, VTA officials said in a prepared statement.

"VTA is committed to being green throughout the construction of the Berryessa Extension and continues to take measures to recycle waste and protect wildlife," said VTA Chairman Ken Yeager.

The new channel includes repurposed tree root structures and boulders to protect the banks, and a widened and realigned portion of the creek to create a natural floodplain. The project also replaced non-native vegetation with native wetland and riparian plantings, officials said.

The BART Silicon Valley Project is a 16-mile extension of the existing BART system to San Jose, Milpitas and Santa Clara. The project's first phase is the 10-mile Berryessa Extension, a 10-mile, two-station extension starting in Fremont.

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