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The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) received approval from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to extend the New Starts project development phase for the 6-mile Bay Area Rapid Transit extension to Silicon Valley.The deadline to complete the phase has been moved from March to June. VTA made the request so it could refine design considerations for two tunneling methods for the 5-mile segment into downtown San Jose, California, agency officials said in a press release.As part of the project development phase, VTA must define the project scope, identify a funding plan and complete the environmental review process. VTA also must refine a cost estimate and financial plan for the project.The agency is "close" to wrapping up those requirements and is working with BART to determine whether to use a single- or twin-bore tunnel design, VTA officials said. The FTA is expected to issue a record of decision on the project in early June."This nod from FTA affirms the importance of spending additional time to fully examine new innovations in the construction industry that can help us build a project that is safe and minimizes construction impacts to downtown San Jose residents and businesses," said VTA Chair and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo in a press release.VTA and BART in October 2017 kicked off a peer review of single- and twin-bore tunnel methods.The 6-mile line into downtown San Jose marks the second phase of BART's 16-mile Silicon Valley Extension, which is being managed by VTA in cooperation with BART.
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