Final weekend closure for Lafayette track rebuilding project (10/26-27)

10.24.19

Final weekend closure for Lafayette track rebuilding project (10/26-27)

There will be a track shutdown between the Orinda and Walnut Creek stations on Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27.  This will be the last of four scheduled shutdowns for a critical track rebuilding project near the Lafayette Station.  Free buses will replace trains between Orinda and Walnut Creek throughout the weekend and riders should anticipate delays of 40 minutes or more.

Also, the two left lanes of eastbound Highway 24 at Oak Hill Road in Lafayette will be closed starting at 11 pm Friday, October 25 until 5 pm Saturday, October 26 to allow space for construction equipment.  Initial plans to close the two highway lanes all weekend were changed in anticipation of a PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff in the region. Caltrans and BART will monitor backups in real time and will work together to reduce the number of lanes closed from two to one if driving delays approach 30 minutes.  Caltrans and BART will also reduce or eliminate the lane closures as appropriate in response to PG&E's anticipated Public Safety Power Shutoff.

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Workers have been active around-the-clock during three previous shutdown weekends.  They’ve also been working for weeks during overnight hours when BART is not in service to replace nearly 50-year-old track components in Lafayette that have outlived their useful lives.  The track rebuilding project is funded by voter-approved Measure RR.

The workers’ progress allowed BART to cancel a scheduled weekend track shutdown October 12-13 as well as single tracking that had been planned for September 21.  Further, BART reduced another scheduled track shutdown in mid-September to single tracking because of success with track replacement efforts.

Progress benchmarks

The work team has been making the most of its time in the trackway.  Here are some examples of the progress made so far:

*Replaced five of six track switches.  These are large track components that can measure up to 200 feet in length and are instrumental in allowing BART trains to move from line to line.

*Installed 3,000 feet of 5,000 feet of new rail.

*Nearly done with replacing about 2.8 million pounds of rock ballast, which is essential for stabilizing the rail.

Additionally, workers are in the process of replacing 10,000 feet of train control cable, 3,200 feet of third rail, 320 electrical insulators, and 300 feet of traction power cable.  Workers also used the time to replace platform tiles at the Lafayette Station.

Once the work is complete the noise level of trains will decrease, and passengers will experience a smoother, safer, and more reliable ride.  The Antioch-to-Millbrae line that extends through Contra Costa County into San Francisco is the busiest in the BART system.  These track improvements will benefit tens of thousands of riders every day for decades to come.

RR at work

BART District voters prioritized rebuilding BART when they approved Measure RR in 2016.  The measure provides $3.5 billion in bonds to replace outdated infrastructure across the BART system.

RR-funded projects like this one are having a real impact on the daily riding experience.  BART has already successfully completed track rebuilding projects between the Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre and Concord stations as well as between the West Oakland and 12th Street/Oakland City Center stations.  Replacing aging track equipment that in some cases dates to the beginning of service in 1972 is one reason BART’s customer on-time rate is at 92%.