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Contractors overseeing the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) commuter line say the project is on its way toward completion in late 2016.Rail-car testing along a 42-mile stretch of the line between Santa Rosa and San Rafael, Calif., marked a milestone for the project, according to a news release from STV Inc., which is part of a design-build team led by a Stacy & Witbeck/Herzog joint venture. Additionally, the team is continuing to reconstruct track along the Northwestern Pacific freight railroad corridor. The work involves repair, rehabilitation or full replacement of 25 bridges; upgrades to more than 40 grade crossings; adding several passing sidings; and installation of eight new passenger platforms, STV officials said. The first phase of the $360 million SMART program is slated to be completed and begin operation in late 2016 under a design-build delivery contract.STV serves as the lead designer on the project and provided engineering services for all rail, civil, and structural improvements for the line's initial operating segment, which is currently being built primarily by the Stacy & Witbeck/Herzog venture.When finished, SMART's fleet of diesel multiple-unit vehicles is expected to run along the North Bay area's U.S. 101 corridor, STV officials said. Trains traveling along the first phase of the project will provide a connection between Santa Rosa and San Rafael.The entire SMART line will eventually span a 70-mile corridor from Larkspur to Cloverdale, Calif.
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