If an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, then VTA’s recent virtual industry forum will go a long way to maximize design and construction efficiencies for the Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Project. Design plans are near completion on a 2.4-mile light rail extension of VTA’s Orange Line from the Alum Rock Station on Capitol Avenue to the Eastridge Transit Center on Capitol Expressway in San Jose. The extension will be mainly on an elevated track in the median of Capitol Expressway. It includes an elevated station at Story Road, accessed by a future pedestrian overcrossing, and a ground-level station at the Eastridge Transit Center, one of VTA’s busiest hubs in the transit network.
On July 23, VTA hosted the virtual forum attended by firms with expertise in civil construction, track and systems, utility relocations and more to present an overview of the light rail extension project, and solicit comments, suggestions and questions from the contractor community prior to finishing the construction plans and specifications for advertisement. Another important reason for the event was to confirm that the assumptions for space and sequencing to build, estimated duration of specific activities, and the potential solutions proposed by the project team are feasible and can be implemented in the field. By doing so, VTA can learn about the areas that must be changed before advertising the work for construction and ensure the most up-to-date and accurate information is conveyed to the community.
The design plans, which are about 95-percent complete, were provided to the contractors via the VTA website for review to confirm that the construction constraints are reasonable and any potential improvements can be identified and considered prior to advertisement planned for early 2021. The estimated contract value for the project is $240-$285 million.
VTA’s presentation asked contractors to pay special attention to the design assumptions made thus far to reduce construction time and to minimize construction impacts to the community. Some areas for consideration include:
- Area/space required for construction and resulting traffic impacts on Capitol Expressway and intersections;
- Work/activities required at night and the resulting noise impacts to the surrounding neighborhood; and
- Foundation construction and the resulting vibration impacts to nearby residences.
As part of its due diligence, VTA has also secured a team of independent professionals to review the engineering plans, which were also provided to the County and City of San Jose for their review.
The recorded forum can be viewed here. Firms that are interested in getting updates for this project or other contracting opportunities can sign up or register under the Business Center on our website.