JV nabs $437M California light rail extension contract

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Award: East San Jose Light Rail Extension
Value: $437 million contract, $653 million for overall project
Location: San Jose, California
Client: Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority

In the works for two decades, the East San Jose Light Rail Extension aims to reduce traffic congestion and expand transit access in the densely populated eastern side of the city. With a major construction award, that project is one big step closer to reality. 

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority selected Sacramento, California-based MCM Construction and New York City-based RailWorks Corp. to build the East San Jose Light Rail Extension project. On Thursday the VTA board of directors unanimously voted to award the contract, worth $437 million, to the joint venture.

The extension is the final phase of the larger Capitol Expressway Transit Improvement Project, which aims to transform the Capitol Expressway through the city into a multimodal route with bus rapid transit and light rail, according to the VTA. 

The project involves extending light rail service from the Alum Rock Transit Center 2.4 miles to the Eastridge Transit Center, which will enable VTA riders to connect directly with the Bay Area Rapid Transit system at the Milpitas Station. It also includes an elevated guideway above the Capitol Expressway corridor and new stations at Story Road and Eastridge Transit Center.

The JV’s $437 million joint bid came in about $122 million over VTA’s estimates, according to the San Jose Spotlight, largely due to differing estimates of potential inflation on construction materials. The VTA board gave the go-ahead Thursday for the agency to cover most of the additional cost.

The overall project is now estimated to cost $653 million. That sum includes pedestrian and bus improvements in the area, as well as utility relocation and land acquisition work that has already been completed.

MCM Construction and RailWorks Corp. did, however, promise to cut a year off the project’s timeline. Construction is anticipated to start in April and to be complete in 2028.

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