The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) has chosen the joint venture of Arup and WSP to provide planning and engineering services for its Link21 program.
The multi-project initiative led by BART and the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA) was unveiled in January, with the aim of connecting BART with the region’s intercity, commuter and high speed passenger rail systems while also “connecting people sustainably to employment opportunities and affordable housing throughout the 21-county Northern California Megaregion.”
The Northern California Megaregion, home to 12.7 million people, covers the Sacramento, San Francisco Bay, Northern San Joaquin Valley and the Monterey Bay areas.
As part of the Link21 program, the Arup/WSP JV will work on the New Transbay Rail Crossing project between Oakland and San Francisco. The project is expected to “help address the high levels of congestion in the existing Transbay corridor, as well as provide a direct connection for regional [commuter] rail riders,” according to the JV.
“We look forward to having the expertise provided by Arup/WSP JV help us on such a transformational program,” Link21 Program Manager Sadie Graham said.
“We applaud BART and Capitol Corridor’s leadership and vision to advance this needed program to better connect the region in a more sustainable and equitable way,” said John Fisher, WSP Vice President and a member of the Arup/WSP JV Board.
Phase 1 of Link21, Program Identification, is slated to begin next year, followed by Phase 2, Project(s) Selection, in 2024, and Phase 3, Project Delivery, starting in 2029 and wrapping up in 2040. The price tag could reach $29 billion (in 2040 dollars), according to the Link21 website. So far, BART has allocated $110 million from its Measure RR bond, approved by voters in 2016, for project planning; the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has also earmarked $50 million from Regional Measure 3 for the project; and the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) provides approximately $1 million annually, which is administered by Capitol Corridor.