[LA FEATURE]Running Dry


Drought-stricken California communities face a third-consecutive dry year with no relief in sight

BART Extension to South Bay One Year Ahead of Schedule, Thanks to Drought

View Comments (


    The construction site of the future Berryesa BART Station, which is expected to be completed by late 2017 - March 10, 2014.

    BART's plan to extend service to the South Bay is a year ahead of schedule, thanks to the lack of Bay Area rainfall over the last two years.

    The expansion project has crews building tracks to southern Fremont, Milpitas and San Jose.

    The lack of rain has helped speed up the process, one positive side effect of the drought.

    Debate Heats Up Over Desalination Plant Plan

    [LA] Debate Heats Up Over OC Desalination Plant Proposal
    A proposal to build a water desalination plant in Huntington Beach amid the severe drought is encountering resistance from critics who cite the project s financial and environmental costs. Patrick Healy reports from Huntington Beach for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

    No rain meant crews got to spend more time on the job instead of being rained out.

    "The dry weather has been wonderful when we’re digging the trenches,” VTA spokeswoman Bernice Alaniz said. “We have a mile and a quarter long trench at the Montague station area, so having that area dry really helped us do some of that mass excavation to actually construct the area for the trains to run underneath some of the major roadways.”

    VTA officials said the extension to Berryessa is set to be completed by late 2017, which is a year earlier than anticipated.

    Crews have been able to put in a lot of hours with the dry winter months. This means, in just under four years of work, BART trains will finally be rolling into San Jose.

    And it will be slightly over its $3.2 billion budget.

    When the station at Berryessa opens, VTA said it can expect 23,000 trips per day to-and-from San Jose. That is just under 12,000 cars off of South Bay freeways.

    That number is expected to increase to 100,000 trips per day.

    VTA and BART are still looking for funds to begin Phase 2 of the BART extension to San Jose, which would mean BART trains rolling underneath downtown San Jose, onto the airport, and then to Santa Clara.

    Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: iPhone/iPad App | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram | RSS | Text Alerts | Email Alerts