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The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) late last week received approval to pursue federal funding for the second phase of the BART Silicon Valley Extension project.
Funding from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) would cover up to 50% of project costs, or $4 billion, VTA officials said in a press release. The transit agency will be able to apply for twice the amount of funding anticipated under the previous pilot project delivery program through the FTA's New Starts Funding program.
The VTA's board also approved a $460 million contract amendment to purchase a tunnel boring machine to dig a 5-mile tunnel under downtown San Jose. Kiewit Shea Traylor is the contractor for the tunnel and trackwork.
In addition, the FTA approved a potential grant reimbursement dating back to March 2016, as well as all remaining project costs, for a total of $9.3 billion.
The project calls for constructing a 10-mile alignment that would extend heavy-rail service from North San Jose and Berryessa through downtown San Jose into Santa Clara. Four more stations will be constructed along the route.
The VTA plans to begin the funding application as soon as summer 2023 following the finalization of a final cost estimate and a funding plan.