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Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) has selected Shimmick Construction Inc. as the design-build contractor for its next major construction project.The $68.7 million contract covers several key elements of Phase 1 work on the rail and pathway project in Sonoma and Marin counties, Calif., SMART officials said in a press release.The key elements include design and construction of track from Civic Center Drive to the downtown station site in San Rafael, Calif.; strengthening of the Puerto Suello Tunnel in San Rafael; integration of the vehicular traffic control system in downtown San Rafael; and installation of the rolling leaf bascule bridge to replace the existing Haystack Bridge over the Petaluma River. In addition, the contract covers construction of the operations and maintenance facility, and station platform finishes. When completed, the SMART passenger-rail and bicycle-pedestrian pathway will serve a 70-mile corridor from Larskpur to Cloverdale, with the first phase extending from San Rafael to Santa Rosa."Progress has been rapid since we started construction in the summer of 2012," said SMART Chairperson Judy Arnold. "This contract will deliver most of the remaining infrastructure for starting service in 2016.”Project progress so far includes track reconstruction from Santa Rosa to Petaluma; final steps for permits to continue track construction into Marin in spring 2014; assembly of the first trainset in Illinois; signaling and communications systems design nearing completion with field installation beginning; and environmental mitigation requirements being met through the purchase of the Mira Monte Marina property within the project area.