Earthquake Safety Program


Earthquake Safety


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Major Earthquake Safety Program Construction in Progress.
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Notice - Safety Improvements to the Transition Structure


On This Page:

A Vital Transportation System

More Earthquakes Predicted

Program Purpose and Benefits

Vulnerability Study

System Elements

Duration and Funding

Citizens' Oversight Committee

Lake Merritt Administratioon (LMA) Dismantling Project

Parking Structures

 


 

A Vital Transportation System

BART is one of the Bay Area's most vital transportation links. BART carries about 360,000 travelers every day; and during the peak of the commute across the San Francisco Bay, BART carries as many travelers as the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The BART system represents a public investment currently valued at nearly $15 billion, with immeasurable importance to the local and regional economy.

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Major Earthquakes Predicted

BART's success in maintaining continuous service directly after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake reconfirmed the system's importance as a transportation "lifeline." However, Loma Prieta may not be the biggest test of BART's ability to withstand seismic impact. A U.S. Geological Survey statistical analysis has predicted a high probability of one or more major earthquakes hitting the Bay Area within the next 30 years. Unlike Loma Prieta, which was centered more than 50 miles south of San Francisco, future earthquakes could be close to or directly under the BART system.

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Program Purpose and Benefits

Because of the likelihood BART will be subject to a major earthquake, and to safeguard the public's significant investment in the system, BART has initiated the Earthquake Safety Program. The program will upgrade vulnerable portions of the original BART system to ensure safety for the public and BART employees. Portions of the original system with the highest traffic will be upgraded not only for life safety but also to ensure that they can return to operation shortly after a major earthquake. The upgrades will be accomplished by using the latest seismic standards to improve the structural integrity of BART facilities.

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Vulnerability Study

One of the first and most critical undertakings of the Earthquake Safety Program was a systemwide Vulnerability Study, an assessment of how system components would perform during a major earthquake.

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System Elements

Bay Area faults in the BART service area
(Click the image to enlarge it.)

The Earthquake Safety Program addresses the original BART system completed between 1972 and 1976, with a service area spanning three counties-Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco. System extensions, built mostly during the 1990s, employed more stringent and up-to-date seismic criteria than the original system, and thus do not require upgrades. The original BART system includes the following elements:

  • 74 miles of track
  • 34 stations (11 elevated, 14 subway and 9 at-grade)
  • The Transbay Tube
  • The Berkeley Hills Tunnel
  • Train maintenance yards
  • Terminal, operations and administration facilities
  • Power, mechanical, train control and communications equipment

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Duration and Funding

We anticipate the completion of all earthquake upgrades by 2018.

The total project budget for the Earthquake Safety Program is $1.2 billion (in 2004 dollars). The various funding sources are:

  • $134 million from California Department of Transportation Local Seismic Safety Retrofit Program
  • $93 million from Regional Measure 2 (RM2)
  • $11.5 million from Transportation Congestion Relief Program (TCRP)
  • $3 million from FEMA Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program
  • $980 million from General Obligation Bonds (Regional Measure AA)

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Citizens' Oversight Committee

On November 2, 2004, Bay Area voters passed Regional Measure AA, which authorized BART to issue bonds for $980 million to make earthquake safety improvements to BART facilities in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco counties. The measure also required BART to establish a Citizens’ Oversight Committee to verify that bond revenues are spent as promised.

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Lake Merritt Administration (LMA) Dismantling Project

This project involved the partial dismantling of the LMA building, which was determined to be at-risk in the event of a large magnitude earthquake. It also included reconfiguration of stairs, elevators and certain facilities housed in the building. Following the dismantling and removal of the LMA building, the plaza will be restored to a safe and stable condition.

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Parking Structures

This project includes seismic retrofits of parking structures at six stations:  Concord, Daly City, El Cerrito del Norte, Hayward, Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek.

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Last Updated: April 18, 2014