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 September 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. The members are listed below.


Upcoming Meetings

August 26, 2021, 6:30 pm 
The August 26 agenda includes a brief review of the June 2021 meeting, updates on the project status and community outreach, station art enhancement, and introduction to the noise and vibration discussion that will carry over into November and likely February 2022. Members of the public will be able to participate via audience and have an opportunity to ask questions. Your link is below.

Please click the link to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88141493643?  
Passcode: 813995
One tap mobile: 1 669 900 9128 
Telephone: 1 669 900 9128  or +1 669 219 2599 
Webinar ID: 881 4149 3643
Passcode: 813995     

EBRC-Policy Advisory Board: September 15, 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.  


Stakeholder Working Group 2021 Meeting Dates

  •  February 25, 2021, 6:30 pm
  • June 24, 2021, 6:30 pm
  • August 26, 2021, 6:30 pm
  • November 18, 2021, 6:30 pm

Stakeholder Working Group Presentations and Recordings of Meetings

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.

8/26/2021 EBRC-SWG Meeting includes Station Art Enhancement Program presentation, and introduction to construction noise and vibration assessment and mitigation.
August 2021 EBRC-SWT Meeting SCVTA/YouTube

6/24/2021 EBRC-SWG Meeting includes detailed presentation on utility relocation.
June 2021 EBRC-SWG Meeting SCVTA/YouTube

2/25/2021 EBRC-SWG Meeting includes detailed presentation on bridge construction, and traffic. 
February 2021 EBRC-SWG Meeting SCVTA/YouTube

11/19/2020 EBRC-SWG Meeting includes presentations on the future technology (light rail) and the history leading to the elimination of a station at Ocala in 2014.
November 2020 EBRC-SWG Meeting SCVTA/YouTube

8/27/2020 EBRC-SWG Meeting Orientation and project description.
August 2020 EBRC-SWG Meeting SCVTA/YouTube

Reference Materials

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

SWG Members

Laura Arechiga, Welch Park Neighborhood Association, District 8
Ernesto Barajas, Cassel Neighborhood Association, District 5
Jeremy Barousse, District 8 Community Roundtable, District 8
Craig Ferguson, Thompson Creek Neighborhood Association, District 8
Sandy Flores, Capitol Park Goss Dobern Neighborhood Association, District 5
Jessica Molina, Catholic Charities/First 5
Julies Nunes, Lyndale Neighborhood Association, District 5
John Peterson, Eastridge Mall
Andres Solomonoff, Brahms/Edgeview Neighborhood Association, District 8

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

Utility and project construction notices will be posted here, as well as under 'Notices' on the right margin. Check here for 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 try to help identify if it is or not project related. 

10/5/2021: MCI/Verizon Underground Relocation - This is a 2-day activity to clear fiber optic cables out from the area that PG&E is relocating the transmission poles. This activity takes place on the east side of Capitol Expressway, on the sidewalk, between Tully and Quimby Road (in front of In & Out Burger area). MCI/Verizon's contractor noticed the businesses week of 9/27. They have additional work along the expressway and VTA will share the notification when it is received. 

9/20/2021: PG&E Transmission Lines and Poles Relocation begins. PG&E notified customers week of 9/13. This is to clear the old trellis towers in the center of Capitol Expressway with new poles to the east side of Capitol Expressway, clearing space for the future light rail expansion. 

8/27/2021: Utility Relocation Overview Description- noted in  Summer 2021 Newsletter, these slides show where the utility companies will be working along Capitol Avenue, Capitol Expressway @ Story Rd, @ Tully Road, and PG&E Transmission lines and pole relocation on Capitol Expressway between Ocala Avenue and Quimby Road. 

7/27/2021: Advance Construction - Building Removal, S. Capitol Expressway @ Story Road - Begins on or about August 3, 2021. Summary: VTA will remove (demolish) the building located at 1093  S. Capitol Expressway. It is private property that VTA owns/acquired for the project. Activities are expected to take 4 days. The property will be cleaned and fencing removed on the last day. Community Outreach staff delivered notices to nearby businesses and residents adjacent the property on 7/27/21. There are not business, traffic, or pedestrian impacts. There will be noise impacts from construction equipment.

5/10/2021Utility Notice - Gas Line Distribution, S. Capitol Avenue - Begins on or about May 24, 2021. PG&E will mail notices (attached above), and call residents and businesses that are located within 300 feet of the areas they are working in to provide details that could impact their service.
Summary: PG&E is replacing sections of their natural gas pipeline on South Capitol Avenue from Lombard Avenue to East Capitol Expressway at Babb Creek in San Jose. Intermittent lane closures, no parking signs in the the work areas will be posted. Please plan for minor delays when driving through the project area.

2/2/2021Advance 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
EBRC Stakeholder Working Group February 2021 Meeting
Milestone Date
Title
Utility Relocation
Phase Date Range
-
Title
PG&E Underground Gas Pipeline Relocation/Replacement
Milestone Date
Body

PG&E will relocate an underground 4" gas pipeline located at Capitol Avenue/Capitol Expressway. Open the Utility Notice - Gas Line Distribution, S. Capitol Avenue for details. This activity will be complete by end of July 2021.

Title
EBRC Stakeholder Working Group June 2021 Meeting
Milestone Date
Title
Building Removal
Milestone Date
Body

The building located at 1093 E. Capitol Expressway has been acquired and owned by VTA. It is currently vacant. It will be removed August 3-6 to make room for construction of light rail that is expected to begin in 2022.

Title
EBRC Stakeholder Working Group August 2021 Meeting
Milestone Date
Title
PG&E Transmission Lines and Poles Relocation Begins
Milestone Date
Body

Relocation of PG&E transmission lines and towers begins. Activities expected to continue through December 2021.

Title
MCI/Verizon begins relocation of fiber optic cables
Milestone Date
Body

MCI/Verizon to relocate cables.

Title
Construction
Phase Date Range
-

Funding

Total Funding
$468 Million

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