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Marin County transportation board OKs toll funds for SMART Larkspur extension

The Transportation Authority of Marin's (TAM) board has recommended the Metropolitan Transportation Commission redirect $11.4 million in Regional Measure 2 toll funds for the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit's (SMART) proposed commuter-rail extension from San Rafael to Larkspur, Calif., SMART officials announced yesterday.

The funds are a key component for the Larkspur extension, according to a prepared statement. The announcement follows the Federal Transit Administration's recent approval of SMART's San Rafael-to-Larkspur segment for the federal Small Starts funding program, SMART officials said in a press release.

SMART officials expect to complete the federal environmental clearance and project engineering for the extension in 2014, which, along with a financial plan including a minimum of 20 percent in matching funds, will make the project eligible to be recommended for construction funding. The extension is estimated to cost $40 million, officials said.

SMART is advancing a passenger-rail and bicycle-pedestrian pathway project that will operate along a 70-mile corridor in California's Marin and Sonoma counties. The project is under construction.

To date, mainline track construction has been completed from Guerneville Road in north Santa Rosa to downtown Petaluma. The project involves 17 miles of new track, 27 upgraded grade crossings, repair and replacement of six bridges, station platform footings and walls at four station sites, and signal work at seven crossings.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/1/2013