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VTA's BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension Project - Summer 2024 Newsletter

General Project Update

The first half of 2024 has been an exciting time for VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension (BSVII) Project. Our recent milestones, include:

  • Construction: Notice to Proceed and Early Works Construction
  • Federal Transit Administration (FTA): Facilitation of FTA Risk Assessment Workshop and recipient of FTA’s $500 million allocation for the project
  • New Starts Entry to Engineering: Submission of grant application
  • Project Outreach: Launch of the new project website and the project in the community

Green Light Given: Construction Beginning at West Portal in Santa Clara

Marking a significant milestone on February 2024, VTA provided the tunnel and trackwork contractor, Kiewit, Shea, Traylor (KST), the Notice to Proceed (NTP) to begin construction at the West Portal, the launch site for the tunnel boring machine (TBM), near the future Santa Clara BART Station and within the Newhall Yard & Maintenance Facility! 

The West Portal is where the TBM that VTA purchased in November 2023 will start digging five-mile-long tunnel. Initial construction activities at the West Portal will include site preparation for the tunnel shaft and other work to get the area ready for when the TBM arrives. 

notice to proceed

The TBM purchase demonstrates VTA's commitment to utilizing cutting-edge technology to meet the region's growing transportation needs. As we anticipate the increase of activity at the West Portal site, we invite you to stay tuned and sign up for updates as construction continues in 2024.

Cheers to this milestone and the brighter future it signifies for Bay Area riders!

Early Works Construction has started!

The BSVII Project has begun preparing the West Portal site, adjacent to the future Santa Clara BART Station and within the area of the future Newhall Yard & Maintenance Facility, for Early Construction activities.

Construction associated with site preparation includes site grading, fencing, and dust control screening, and installation of construction equipment and trailers.

construction notice geotechnical work


  • Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with Saturday work hours, as needed.
  • Please note that timelines for construction activity have some inherent uncertainty and may change depending on field conditions and/or inclement weather.

What to Expect:

  • Fencing and dust control screening around entire VTA property (outlined in the graphic above)
  • Construction trucks and vehicles entering at Newhall Street or Brokaw Road
  • Construction workers onsite
  • There may be some dust, vibration, and noise associated with site grading, however impacts will be monitored and mitigated, as required.

Subscribe today to receive the project’s latest construction updates.

FTA Risk Assessment

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) provides important funding support and technical reviews to ensure the success of transit projects. As stewards of federal funding, the FTA works with VTA to assess the project’s readiness prior to funding the project through a grant agreement. Risk reviews are completed in project phases with a focus to reduce uncertainty in the implementation plan and project conditions.

While BSVII has project controls in place, FTA discusses the measures, contingencies, and recommended adjustments needed to reduce risks associated with the project scope, schedule, cost, design, management plans, construction, and implementation requirements. 

Much like when building a home, the risk assessment works to mitigate anything where the project could be delayed or create cost overruns. The risk review evaluates:

  • Regulatory approvals, third-party agreements, and funding commitments
  • Design risk associated with assumptions
  • Market risk when procuring project management and construction services, materials, and equipment, including inflation
  • Construction risks that consider the variability with the project’s environment including unusual weather, unexpected subsurface conditions, and contractor deficiencies

Early in 2024 an FTA Risk Assessment Workshop included review of the BSVII Project’s budget and found that the BSVII Project was mitigating its risks well, while also identifying potential risk areas to closely monitor in order to help deliver the project to its completion with the least amount of overruns.

Next Steps for BSVII

The FTA has many checks and balances in place to ensure that public funds are going towards a technically and financially sound project. The risk assessment not only supports getting the funds for project completion, but it confirms support at the federal level of the value and need of the project for the region.

VTA is confident the federal government will continue to provide support and fully fund this once-in-a-generation project that will greatly enhance mobility in the Bay Area while helping to decrease our carbon footprint of the region. Learn more about federal funding and the investment that FTA allocated in the federal budget via our latest blog!

New Starts Engineering

In late March, VTA submitted an application to advance into the next phase of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Capital Investment Grant (CIG) New Starts Program funding process, New Starts Engineering (NSE). The New Starts Program is a discretionary grant program that funds fixed guideway projects (new or extensions) that have a total estimated capital cost of $400 million or more or that are seeking $150 million or more of CIG funding.

Federal transit law requires transit agencies seeking this funding to complete two phases (Project Development and Engineering) to be eligible for consideration for a construction grant agreement. This application is the result of many years of hard work by both agency and consultant staff to plan, design, manage, communicate, and prepare to build BSVII. With the submission of this application, we are one step closer to a Grant Agreement with the FTA and the opening of the final phase of BART to Silicon Valley!

FTA Announces $500 million in FY24 for BSVII Project!

On May 9, 2024, the FTA announced that they have allocated $500 million in the federal Fiscal Year 2024 budget for the BSVII Project. The funding allocation demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to this nationally important infrastructure project. Read more about the FTA announcement news here

New Project Website Coming Soon!

The BSVII Project will be launching a new project website this summer! The website will be released in two phases, the first phase is planned to include Project information and updates, VTA’s transparency commitment, a resource library, and a Frequently Asked Questions section. 

A second launch phase will include construction updates, Business Resource Program (BRP) information, and community activities. The website will also feature an interactive construction map and an “Eat Shop Play” program map to highlight small businesses who participate in the BRP.

Head to for up-to-date information on the project!

Community Engagement Efforts

community engagement efforts bsv

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, 6/8 – Día De Portugal
  • Saturday, 6/8 – Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Groundbreaking Event

Stay Connected!

To stay informed about future events please check out the Project calendar, follow the Project on social media, and sign up on our website to receive our emails.

VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension project plans to continue to share updates as construction progresses and continues to reach important milestones. Stay tuned for more exciting newsletters. 

Interested in having us cover additional topics in our future newsletters? We’d love to hear what you’re interested in! Please reach out to us at

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