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BART Phase II Project Kicks Off State and Federal Environmental Document Review

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A major milestone in the project development process for VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project is kicking off today with the release of a draft state and federal document aimed to address environmental effects of the proposed last six miles of the BART extension into downtown San Jose and the City of Santa Clara.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and VTA have prepared a Draft SEIS/SEIR* which supplements the environmental analysis prepared in years past to address changes to the proposed project over time that were not evaluated in prior environmental documents. â€‹Phase II requires an approved SEIS/SEIR to become eligible for federal and state funding. As such, a combined SEIS/SEIR has been developed and the draft is ready for public review and comment. More information on the environmental process can be found here.

*Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement/Subsequent Environmental Impact Report

What you can expect in the document

There are two alternatives evaluated in this document in accordance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): the No Build Alternative and the BART Extension Alternative. The BART Extension Alternative consists of a 6-mile extension of the BART system from the Berryessa BART Station (currently under construction) through downtown San Jose to the Santa Clara Caltrain StationThe alignment would include an approximate 5-mile tunnel, or subway, through downtown San Jose. Four stations are under consideration: Alum Rock/28th Street, Downtown San Jose, Diridon, and Santa Clara.

Two options are currently under consideration for the location of the Downtown San Jose Station (East and West) and for Diridon Station (North and South). Two tunnel construction methodology options, the Twin-Bore Option (two 20-foot-diameter tunnels) and the Single-Bore Option (one 45-foot-diameter tunnel), are under consideration.

Depending upon funding availability, initial revenue service on the BART Extension is targeted to begin in late 2025/2026.

There are three alternatives evaluated in this document in accordance with California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA): the No Build Alternative, the BART Extension Alternative, and the BART Extension with Transit-Oriented Joint Development (TOJD) Alternative. The CEQA No Build Alternative is the same as the NEPA No Build Alternative. The CEQA BART Extension Alternative is also the same as the NEPA BART Extension Alternative described above.

The additional CEQA BART Extension with TOJD Alternative consists of the 6-mile BART Extension as described above, in addition to TOJD at the four BART stations and two mid-tunnel ventilation structure sites. The BART Extension with TOJD Alternative’s TOJD component does not involve a federal action or federal funding and is evaluated only under CEQA. The TOJD has independent utility and is included to support local and regional land use planning.

The Draft SEIS/SEIR and supporting documentation are available online at www.vta.org/bart. Printed copies of the Draft SEIS/SEIR are available for public review at the following locations during business hours:

VTA’s Building B Lobby at 3331 North 1st Street San Jose, CA  95134

The following local public libraries: Biblioteca Latinoamericana Branch Library; Central Park Library; Dr. Roberto Cruz - Alum Rock Branch Library; East San Jose Carnegie Branch Library; Joyce Ellington Branch Library; King Library; Mission Library Family Reading Center; and Northside Branch Library

How you can get involved

VTA will hold three public hearings which will include an open house, formal presentation and comment period. The open house will allow members of the public to view plans, maps, and other displays and ask VTA staff questions prior to the formal presentation which will follow. The presentation will feature the proposed project, purpose and need, alternatives, and the findings of the environmental analysis. A formal comment period will follow the presentation where the public can verbally state comments, recorded by a court recorder to be included for response in the document. Attendees may also fill out comment cards and leave them at the meeting site or mail them in prior to the end of the review period. All comments received will be addressed in the Final SEIS/SEIR.

Public hearing dates and locations are as follows:

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Open House: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Formal Presentation & Comments: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Mexican Heritage Plaza, Gallery
1700 Alum Rock Avenue, San Jose, CA  95116
 
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Open House: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Formal Presentation & Comments: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 
Santa Clara Senior Center, Room 222
1303 Fremont Street, Santa Clara, CA  95050
 
Monday, January 30, 2017
Open House: 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Formal Presentation & Comments: 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
San Jose – City Hall, Rooms 118 - 120
200 East Santa Clara Street, San Jose, CA  95113

How to Submit Comments on the Draft SEIS/SEIR

The public review and comment period for the Draft SEIS/SEIR will end on February 20, 2017. Written comments on the Draft SEIS/SEIR should be sent to:

Mail:     Tom Fitzwater, SVRT Environmental Planning Manager
             VTA Environmental Programs & Resources Management, Building B-2
             3331 North First Street, San Jose, CA  95134
Email:   BARTPhase2EIS-EIR@vta.org
 
Comments must be submitted no later than 5:00 p.m. on February 20, 2017. For additional information on the Draft SEIS/SEIR, please contact VTA’s Community Engagement Department at 408-321-7575.

Individuals who require language translation, American Sign Language, or other assistance are requested to call (408) 321-7575/TTY (408) 321-2330 at least five (5) business days before the public hearing. All meeting facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.

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