Feds green light BART's Warm Springs Extension project
"Record of decision" clears way for funding
BART'S Warm Springs Extension Project has received an important green light from the federal government: the Federal Transit Administration (FTA.) signed the Record of Decision on October 24, 2006. The FTA's signature allows BART to resume acquiring right of way and qualifies BART to receive state-administered federal funding for the project. The Warm Springs Extension is a necessary step if BART is to reach San Jose.
"This a very encouraging and vital step," said BART Director Thomas Blalock, who represents Fremont, Newark, Union City and a portion of Hayward. "The Record of Decision paves the way for the Warm Springs project to acquire the remaining right of way and to seek funding to keep moving ahead."
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS STUDIED
The FTA's signature means the Warm Springs Extension Project has satisfied the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and other environmental laws that apply to federally-funded projects. The Record of Decision (ROD) is the official documentation that the requirements have been met and it completes the NEPA process.
The potential environmental impacts and benefits of the project and alternatives were evaluated in a Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and a document called the 4(f)/6(f) Evaluation. BART and the FTA issued the documents in July.
With the ROD now in place, BART's Warm Springs Extension Project team may now enter into a range of agreements required for the project, including utility relocation agreements, railroad property purchase agreements with Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), and several funding and cost sharing agreements with the City of Fremont.
Once funding for the project has been fully secured, completion of design, construction and testing of the project is anticipated to take approximately 5 years.
The Warm Springs Extension Project has been on BART's drawing board since at least 1991. Changes in funding and other concerns have required BART to adapt over the course of time, but the project remains a priority.
The Warm Springs Extension would add 5.4 miles of new tracks from the existing Fremont Station south to a new station in the Warm Springs district of the City of Fremont. An optional station would be located approximately midway, in the heart of the Irvington district. The optional Irvington Station is dependent upon future funding through the City of Fremont.
The distance from the Fremont station to the Irvington station is 2.4 miles. The distance from the Irvington station to the Warm Springs station is 2.23 miles. The remainder of the extension, approximately .77 miles, includes additional track for maintenance.
DOCUMENTS AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC
The Record of Decision, a summary of the mitigation measures and a Memorandum of Agreement with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) are available online. The public may request a hard copy of the document by calling (510) 287-4747 or by writing to:
BART Warm Springs Extension
Attn: Paul Medved, Principal Engineer
P.O. Box 12688
Oakland, CA 94604
THE WARM SPRINGS EXTENSION PROJECT
- Would extend BART 5.4 miles from existing Fremont Station to the Warm Springs district of Fremont.
- May include an optional infill station midway in the Irvington district of Fremont.
- Costs: $678 million in 2004 dollars.
- Is necessary step in bringing BART to San Jose.