Published Thursday, December 7, 2000, by BART at:
BART Gives Year-End Status Report on San Francisco Airport Extension
OAKLAND, Calif.--Dec. 7, 2000--BART Board President
Thomas Blalock today announced that construction of BART's $1.5
billion extension to the San Francisco International airport is now
more than 70 percent complete on the main line, with the portion going
into the airport over 90 percent complete.
Blalock also noted that the project was within budget, but that based
on current progress by the contractor, Tutor-Saliba/Slattery, it is
now projected that the line will not be ready to open until the fall
of 2002, including two to three months for shakedown and pre-passenger
service testing. Actual construction and systems work is expected to
be completed in July of 2002 the current revised service date
contained in the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the Federal
Transit Administration (FTA).
BART General Manager Thomas Margro said that every facet of the new
line must go through rigorous testing before it can open, to assure
reliable and proper operation. This was the practice BART followed
with its East Bay extensions with good results.
Margro said BART early on had set an aggressive target date of
December 2001 for the project's completion.
"Even through construction of the project was about a year late
getting started, pending federal approval of the funding agreement, we
believed the contractor could make up the lost time. However, an
accumulation of events this past year has resulted in schedule
slippage," Margro said.
He said several factors have impacted construction, adding the
additional months to the construction schedule that called for a
February 12, 2002 contract completion date. They include: heavy winter
rains in late January through early March 2000, over several weeks
lost due to environmental mitigation issues (which had the residual
effect of generally slowing down work in the wetlands), constrained
work along the right-of-way along the Caltrain line, larger structures
needed to meet BART's stringent seismic design requirements to support
the aerial approach into the airport.
Since construction of the 8.7-mile project began in November 1998,
more than four miles, or more than two thirds, of the six miles of
subway have been completed, along with over 30 percent of the track
laid. Also completed are the shell of the South San Francisco subway
station, the south leg of the aerial guideway west of Highway 101
which leads into the airport, eight of the twelve ventilation
structures and two of the five required traction power substations.
Much of the major construction work on the line and tracks is finished
and the focus of work is now shifting to installation of the systems
needed to operate BART's advanced computer controlled train
system. Additionally, work on the Millbrae intermodal station, which
will serve both BART and Caltrain with a cross platfom link, is 66
percent complete. This station is a surface station which features a
center platform and a mezzanine level passenger concourse. Four of the
five levels of the Millbrae Station parking structure are complete as
well. The shell of the San Bruno subway station is well underway.
"I am very pleased with the work that has been done thus far," said
Margro. "Despite the slippage in the construction schedule, (which is
not unusual for a project of this magnitude), it's very exciting to
see it all coming together and realize what this extension will mean
for the people of the Bay Area when those trains begin to roll onto
The $1.5-billion BART Airport extension is a partnership of BART,
SFIA, the San Mateo County Transit District, the California
Transportation Commission (CTC), the Federal Transit Administration
and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The extension is
designed to bring rail rapid transit to the nation's fifth busiest
airport, triple BART ridership on the Peninsula, and make regional
rail travel possible through a convenient connection with
Caltrain. Ridership on the new line is projected to reach 68,600 trips
per day by the year 2010, including some 18,00 trips per day to the
Mike Healy, 510/464-7110