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Rail News: Maintenance Of Way

BART awards first construction contract for Transbay Tube strengthening project


Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) recently awarded the first of several contracts for a 10-year, $1.3 billion project designed to strengthen the Transbay Tube and other infrastructure to withstand a massive earthquake.

The agency awarded a $9.7 million contract to construction firm Condon Johnson & Associates Inc. to strengthen the soil around the tube from the Port of Oakland shoreline to the tube’s end. Scheduled to begin in summer, the project will take about seven months to complete.

The entire Transbay Tube strengthening project will take about four years to complete. The agency then will begin reinforcing stations and elevated tracks. The project is being funded in part by Measure AA, a $980 million property tax bond approved by bay area voters in November 2004.

Nearly half of BART’s 325,000 daily passengers ride trains through the tube, which is entrenched in the San Francisco Bay floor and connects the East Bay with downtown San Francisco. The U.S. Geological Survey has reported there is a 62 percent chance one or more earthquakes rating 6.7 or higher on the Richter Scale will hit the bay area before 2030. A survey has determined that the tube, as well as many BART stations and elevated tracks, would be damaged during a powerful earthquake and could shut down the agency’s system for more than two years.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/18/2006