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BART Board okays awarding contract to build rail extension to Oakland airport

By dcuff
Thursday, September 16th, 2010 at 12:48 pm in Uncategorized.

The BART board this morning gave its final permission to award the contact to build a rail extension to the Oakland International Airport. The $484 million project project has been delayed by funding questions and a long simmering debate about whether it should be scrapped in favor of a cheaper plan for express buses.

The 7-1 vote of the board gave General Manager Dorothy Dugger authority to immediately award contracts to private companies to  build and operate the 3.2-mile cable-propelled tram system on elevated tracks from  the BART Coliseum station to the airport. 

The action this morning was widely expected, as the BART board and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission have repeatedly reaffirmed their support for the project. BART last year had tentatively selected  a joint venture of Flatiron/Parsons to design and build the system for $361 million,  but the award of the contract was put on hold as BART scrambled to come up with a new financing package after the federal government denied the project $70 million in economic stimulus funds.

During the delays, Flatiron/Parsons had pledged to stand behind its of $361 million proposal,  but that pledge is scheduled to expire Sept. 21.

The lone no vote against the rail project was BART Director Tom Radulovich of San Francisco.

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