BART to reduce public impacts from Lafayette track rebuild

Sept. 10, 2019
There will now only be two scheduled weekend track shutdowns.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) will lessen the public impact of the remaining track work at the Lafayette Station thanks to the construction work being ahead of schedule.

Crews have been working to rebuild a large section of the trackway and have been active around-the-clock during two previous shutdown weekends to replace nearly 50-year-old track components.

Thanks to the progress on the trackway replacement project the following changes are being made to the construction schedule:

-The planned track shutdown for the weekend of Sept. 14-15 is being changed from a full closure between Orinda and Walnut Creek to a single-tracking weekend.  That will eliminate the need for a bus bridge and reduce the delays faced by BART riders.  BART riders should still plan for delays of up to 30 minutes in that area as trains will only be operating on a single track. The plan to temporarily close the two left eastbound lanes of Highway 24 at Oak Hill Road in Lafayette remains in place. BART will continue to partner with Caltrans to limit traffic delays by reducing the number of lanes closed on eastbound 24 from two to one if backups approach 30 minutes.

-The single-tracking and overnight Highway 24 lane closures planned for Sept. 21 have been canceled. That means there will be normal BART service and Highway 24 access for the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival.

-The track shutdown and Highway 24 lane closures for the weekend of Oct. 12-13 have been cancelled. This will allow BART to offer regular service that weekend for Fleet Week.

The changes mean the remaining track shutdown weekends scheduled for the rebuilding project are Sept. 28-29 and Oct. 26-27. On those two remaining weekends, free buses will replace trains between the Orinda and Walnut Creek stations. Riders should expect delays of 40 minutes or more. Also, the two left lanes of eastbound Highway 24 at Oak Hill Road are expected to be closed through those weekends to allow space for construction equipment. Caltrans and BART will monitor backups in real time and will work together to reduce the number of lanes closed from two to one if driving delays approach 30 minutes.

Single tracking will occur on the weekend of Sept. 14-15 and Oct. 19. BART riders should expect delays of up to 30 minutes between Orinda and Walnut Creek on those days since service will operate on only one track.  The two left eastbound lanes of Highway 24 will be closed during overnight hours on the weekend of Oct. 19.  Those closures will be from 11 p.m. Oct. 18 to 7 a.m. Oct. 19, and from 11 p.m. Oct. 19 to 9 a.m. Oct. 20. The weekend of Sept. 14-15 is expected to include the daytime eastbound Highway 24 lane closures described in the first bullet point.

Progress benchmarks

The constructions crews have made the following progress:

-Replaced three of six track switches. These are large track components that can measure up to 200 feet in length and are instrumental in allowing BART trains to move from line to line.

-Installed 2,500 feet of 5,000 feet of new rail.

-Halfway done with removing and replacing about 2.8 million pounds of rock ballast, which is essential for stabilizing the rail.

Additionally, workers are in the process of replacing 10,000 feet of train control cable, 3,200 feet of third rail, 320 electrical insulators and 300 feet of traction power cable.  Workers are also using the time to replace platform tiles at the Lafayette Station.

Once the work is complete the noise level of trains will decrease, and passengers will experience a smoother, safer and more reliable ride.  The Antioch-to-Millbrae line that extends through Contra Costa County into San Francisco is the busiest in the BART system.