Eastridge to BART Regional Connector

The Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Project (formerly Capitol Expressway Light Rail Project, extends light rail from the existing Alum Rock Light Rail Station to the Eastridge Transit Center with an elevated guideway primarily in the center of Capitol Expressway. The Eastridge extension will include an elevated light rail station at Story Road, and a at-grade station located at the Eastridge Transit Center. When this project is complete, VTA riders will be able to board light rail at the Eastridge Station, and connect directly with BART at the Milpitas Station.

Background

The...

The Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Project (formerly Capitol Expressway Light Rail Project, extends light rail from the existing Alum Rock Light Rail Station to the Eastridge Transit Center with an elevated guideway primarily in the center of Capitol Expressway. The Eastridge extension will include an elevated light rail station at Story Road, and a at-grade station located at the Eastridge Transit Center. When this project is complete, VTA riders will be able to board light rail at the Eastridge Station, and connect directly with BART at the Milpitas Station.

Background

The Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Project has been delivered in phases. The first phase was delivered in two parts. In Phase 1A, VTA addressed pedestrian access and improved safety measures along the expressway between Quimby Road and Capitol Avenue. This was completed in Fall 2012 and included new sidewalks, street lighting, and a landscaping buffer. Phase 1B was the reconstruction of the Eastridge Transit Center. The improvements to the transit center included new shelters and amenities and supports BRT. This was completed in 2015. 

The light rail extension is Phase 2, and the final phase of the larger Capitol Expressway Transit Improvement Project that transforms Capitol Expressway into a multi-modal expressway offering bus rapid transit (BRT), light rail transit, and safe connections to the regional transit system.

Project Status

The project is in final design and VTA is securing right of way along the corridor to relocate underground utilities and the PG&E towers along the expressway. Once the utilities have been relocated, construction of the light rail extension can begin. Utility relocation will begin in early 2021. For an updated schedule, please refer to the schedule located below, or contact Community Outreach. 

 Stakeholder Working Group

A Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) has been created. Each SWG member was nominated by the Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Policy Advisory Board to represent the unique constituencies that live, work, and play along the project alignment. Their role is to disseminate information to the stakeholders near the project area and to give feedback to the project team.


Upcoming Meetings


VTA Board of Directors: March 4, 2021, 5:30 P.M.

EBRC-Policy Advisory Board: March 17, 2021, 4 P.M.
 
Project Videos
Curious to see how Capitol Expressway will look with light rail when the project is complete? Check out this video via VTA's Youtube: Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Video. We anticipate sharing the next video in late April/early May that will show you how this will be built.  

 

Stakeholder Working Group 2021 Meeting Dates
  •  February 25, 2021, 6:30 pm
  • May 27, 2021, 6:30 pm
  • August 26, 2021, 6:30 pm
  • November 18, 2021, 6:30 pm

Stakeholder Working Group Presentations

In case you missed the SWG Committee meeting, you can select the following links for meeting presentations and video recordings that are direct links to the YouTube recordings.

February 25, 2021:  First Quarterly Meeting-February 2021 presentation and watch the video recording, First Quarterly Meeting via SCVTA/YouTube.

November 19, 2020:  Second Quarterly Meeting presentation,  and watch the video recording of the Second Quarterly Meeting via SCVTA/YouTube

August 27, 2020: Orientation Meeting slides, including the agenda, and
the video of the meeting is available via SCVTA/YouTube.

Reference Materials

PG&E Greenbook: Provides information about trees clearance under and around transmission lines.

Environmental Documents

VTA has prepared the 2021 Third Addendum to the Final Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (Final SEIR-2) for the Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Project.   

The Third Addendum evaluates the removal of an additional 60 – 70 trees along the east side of Capitol Expressway between Ocala Avenue and Quimby Road. The removal of additional trees is a result of new information, received from PG&E, that trees above a certain height under high voltage electric lines are required to be cleared for public safety reasons and to provide access to the lines for maintenance and repairs.

All trees removed by the Project will be replaced at ratios determined by their size and replacement species (i.e., native versus non-native). In the Second Addendum to the Final SEIR-2 approved in February 2020, the VTA Board approved the payment of in-lieu fees to replace trees within two miles of the project corridor to the maximum extent practicable given the limited right-of-way available for tree replacement within the project limits. According to a tree inventory conducted by a certified arborist, the Project will be required to provide an additional 67 – 128 replacement trees depending on the replacement species (i.e., native versus non-native).

On February 18, 2021, the Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee (CMPP) will make a recommendation to VTA's Board of Directors regarding the adoption of the Third Addendum and approval of the proposed change to the Project.

On March 4, 2021, VTA's Board of Directors will consider adoption of the Third Addendum and approval of the proposed change to the Project. 

If you have any written comments on the adoption of the Third Addendum and the approval of the change to the Project, it is requested that you submit them as soon as possible but no later than 12:00 pm on February 17, 2021, for the CMPP meeting, and no later than 12:00 pm on March 4, 2021, for the Board meeting.

Verbal comments may also be provided at both meetings via Zoom. The agenda and zoom link are available: Congestion Management Program and Planning Committee Page

Written comments can be submitted via the following methods:

Mail: Christina Jaworski, Senior Environmental Planner Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority Environmental Programs 3331 North First Street, Building B-2 San José, CA 95134-1927

Email: Christina.Jaworski@vta.org

If you have any questions about the Third Addendum,  contact Christina Jaworski, Senior Environmental Planner, at Christina.Jaworski@vta.org.

Previous Environmental Documents

Addendum to Environmental Documents

2019 Final Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

2018 Draft Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

2014 Final Subsequent Mitigated Negative Declaration

2012 Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement 

2012 Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

2009-2011 Misc. Environmental Document

2010 Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (Categorical Exclusion)

2007 Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

2005 Final Environmental Impact Report

Construction Notices

Construction notices will be posted here, as well as under 'Notices' over on the right margin. Check here a quick search for a notice, the area it pertains to, and how it was shared. The latest notices will be on on top. Often there is work on the corridor that isn't related to this project, and we can help identify if it is or not project related. 

Advance Construction Work - Crossroads Shopping Center Notice, expected to begin on or about February 8, 2021. 
Summary: Activities are on private property with some intermittent sidewalk and traffic lane impact during tree removal. This notice was mailed on 1/29/2021 to and including the area 1/4 mile of the 461 S. Capitol Ave., emailed to project stakeholders, and to the immediate Nextdoor neighborhoods. Community outreach staff delivered notices door-door to businesses on 2/1/2021. There are no business access impacts.  

 

 

Timeline

Title
Preliminary Engineering
Phase Date Range
-
Title
Design and Engineering
Phase Date Range
-
Title
Environmental Clearance
Phase Date Range
-
Title
VTA Board of Directors approves environmental document
Milestone Date
Body

California Environmental Quality Act Final Environmental Impact Report, dated April 2005 is approved for the Capitol Expressway Light Rail project with an alignment from Alum Rock to Neiman Blvd. in two phases. First phase extends light rail to Eastridge. Second phase to Nieman.  Scope includes:

  • Elevated tracks from Alum Rock to south of Story Road
  • At-grade through Ocala and Cunningham
  • Tunnel under Tully Road
  • New stations at Story, Ocala/Cunningham, and Eastridge
  • Story Road pedestrian overcrossing at all four corners of the intersection to the elevated station
  • Kiss and ride lot on the southeast corner of Story Road
  • Station located between Ocala and Cunningham
  • Pedestrian facilities along Capitol Expressway (new sidewalks, lighting, landscaping)
  • Transit Center at Eastridge
  • Original draft study evaluated an alignment between the Alum Rock Station and SR 87
Title
VTA Board of Directors approves environmental document update
Milestone Date
Body

California Environmental Quality Act Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report, dated April 2007.

Changes are the result of preliminary engineering and include:

  • Elimination of the Nieman extension
  • Change from tunnel to elevated alignment at Tully Road
  • Elimination of 2 of the 4 pedestrian overcrossings at Story Road
  • Elimination of the kiss and ride lot at Story Road
  • Move station between Ocala and Cunningham closer to Ocala
  • Modify electrical transmission towers relocation (PG&E towers)
Title
VTA Board of Directors re-affirms their support for the Capitol Expressway Light Rail Extension to Eastridge Mall
Milestone Date
Title
VTA Board of Directors Approves Phasing of Project
Milestone Date
Body

Phase 1 to include pedestrian and street improvements, followed by the new Eastridge Transit Center.

Phase 2 to complete the light rail extension to Eastridge Transit Center.

Title
VTA Board of Directors Approves $57.5M for Capitol Expressway Light Rail Extension
Milestone Date
Body

Funds to be used for pedestrian and bus improvements, and utility relocation.

Title
VTA Board of Directors Approves Environmental Document Addendum
Milestone Date
Body

California Environmental Quality Act Revised Addendum to the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report.

Approves the phasing (Phase 1) of the Pedestrian and Bus Improvements as Phase 1a and Phase 1b. 

Title
Federal Categorical Exclusion
Milestone Date
Body

Staff completes Federal Categorical Exclusion (National Environmental Policy Act, Categorical Exclusion) that makes the Eastridge Transit Center Improvements eligible for federal funding.

Title
Construction
Phase Date Range
-
Title
VTA Board of Directors Approves Construction Contract (Phase 1a)
Milestone Date
Title
Pedestrian Improvements Construction Complete - Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Milestone Date
Title
Construction
Phase Date Range
-
Title
VTA Board of Directors Approves Construction Contract (Phase 1b)
Milestone Date
Body

Phase 1b is to rebuild a new Eastridge Transit Center. Construction is expected to be complete in spring, 2015.

Title
Ground Breaking Celebration
Milestone Date
Body

Community, Elected Officials, and VTA staff celebrate the groundbreaking construction of the new Eastridge Transit Center.

Title
Property Acquisition for Eastridge Transit Center construction complete
Milestone Date
Body

Including $24 M for transit center property and transfer of $18 M of available budget from Caltrain Capacity Improvement to this project.

Title
VTA Board of Directors Approves Subsequent Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration
Milestone Date
Body

California Environmental Quality Act, dated February 2014. This action removes the Ocala light rail station, eliminates the sidewalk widening between Foxdale Drive and Ocala Avenue, (and resulting property acquisition), and expands Eastridge parking. This was based on environmental review from FTA while VTA was preparing a Federal EIS in order to be eligible for federal funding.

Note: VTA decided to suspend the NEPA process in late 2017 due to lack of federal funding available for this project.

Title
Eastridge Transit Center Construction Complete - Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Milestone Date
Body

Community, local officials, and VTA staff celebrate the completion and opening of the new Eastridge Transit Center.

Title
Design and Engineering
Phase Date Range
-
Title
VTA Board Approves Funding to Complete Preliminary Engineering and Final Design (Phase 2 - Light Rail Extension)
Milestone Date
Title
VTA Board of Directors Awards Contract for Design/Engineering
Milestone Date
Body

Engineering contract approved with BKF Engineers for preparation of construction documents for the light rail extension to Eastridge.

Title
Updates to roadway geometry and light rail vertical alignment
Milestone Date
Body

Updates to roadway geometry and light rail alignment are to improve the project and mitigate community impacts.

Title
Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Policy Advisory Group Recommendation
Milestone Date
Body

Eastridge to BART Policy Advisory Board recommends approval of staff recommended geometry and light rail alignment changes for VTA Board of Directors action in May 2018. Specifically, the VTA Board will be asked to approve two items:

1. Staff to perform the environmental analysis of the light rail project using California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) criteria, and the staff recommended geometry and vertical light rail alignment.

2. Funding strategy that uses a combination of SB-1 funds and projected savings from other Measure A projects to fund the increased cost resulting from the proposed changes.  if the environmental document update and the project changes are approved by the Board at the completion of the environmental analysis. 

Title
Community Scoping Meeting
Milestone Date
Body

Project changes to be evaluated in Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Report

  • Extension of elevated structure between Story Road and Tully Road
  • Roadway design changes
  • Modification to Story Road Pedestrian Overcrossing and Median Access
  • Modification to Eastridge Station and Park-and-Ride-Lot
Title
Draft Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Report - Public Meeting and Open House
Milestone Date
Body

The Draft Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Report was released for public review and 45 day comment period.

A Public Meeting was held on October 22.

Comments are due by November 19.

 

Title
Final Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Report Released
Milestone Date
Title
VTA Board of Directors Approves Final Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Report
Milestone Date
Title
Final Second Addendum to the Final SEIR-2 Released
Milestone Date
Body

The FINAL Second Addendum to the Final Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (Final SEIR-2) for the Eastridge to BART Regional Connector-Capitol Expressway Light Rail Project (EBRC-CELR) evaluates design changes that have occurred since the Final SEIR-2 was approved in June 2019.  VTA is proposing changes to the Project as a result of advances in design and engineering, and updated electrical designs from PG&E. None of these changes are anticipated to have any new significant impacts or an increase in severity of previously identified impacts.

Title
Contractor Industry Forum
Milestone Date
Body

The purpose of today's industry review is for VTA to share an overview of the EBRC project and solicit comments, suggestions, and questions from the contractor community to allow VTA to validate the proposed design approach. The webinar was recorded and will be available July 31. The presentation is available - Industry Review Presentation

Title
EBRC Stakeholder Working Group August 2020 Meeting
Milestone Date
Body

A Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) has been created. Each SWG member was nominated by the Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Policy Advisory Board to represent the unique constituencies that live, work, and play along the project alignment. Their role is to disseminate information to the stakeholders near the project area and to give feedback to the project team. For more information, select SWG Orientation Meeting.

Title
EBRC Stakeholder Working Group November 2020 Meeting
Milestone Date
Title
Advance Construction-Crossroads Shopping Center
Milestone Date
Body

Preliminary construction activities will occur behind the Crossroads Shopping Center, on private property, in advance of future utility relocation that are expected to begin later this spring. Weather and conditions permitting, this is expected to continue through mid-March. 

Title
Final Third Addendum to the Final SEIR-2 Released
Milestone Date
Body

VTA has prepared the 2021 Third Addendum to the Final Second Supplemental Environmental Impact Report (Final SEIR-2) for the Eastridge to BART Regional Connector Project. This is regarding an update to in increase in required tree removal and mitigation.

Title
Construction
Phase Date Range
-

Funding

Total Funding
$468 Million

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