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8/3/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

BART to earthquake-proof underwater tube


California’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission recently announced it will allocate $11 million from toll bridge revenue during the next two years to help Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) strengthen the 3.6-mile underwater Transbay Tube to withstand a massive earthquake.

Last week, BART awarded a $330 million contract to begin upgrading the tube. The agency expects to generate $143 million toward the tube’s construction during the next 10 years from a recent bay bridge toll hike, according to BART. The remainder of the project could be funded through a planned $980 million earthquake safety bond measure on the November ballot. The measure also would help fund BART’s $1.3 billion Earthquake Safety Program.

A recent survey determined that the tube, as well as many BART stations and elevated tracks, would be damaged during a powerful earthquake, which could shut down the agency’s system for more than two years.

There is a 70 percent chance that at least one earthquake ranking 6.7 or higher on the Richter Scale will hit the bay area before 2030, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.


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