Bird habitat costs BART $5 million more for Warm Spring extension

Bird habitat costs BART $5 million more for Warm Spring extension

Flocks of migrating birds and their fragile habitats in the South Bay are costing BART nearly $5 million more in its rail extension efforts.

The transit agency’s Warm Springs project crosses through the 450-mile Fremont Central Park, a Bay shore setting that is home to 500 different bird species, all of which are protected by state and federal wildlife agencies.

Building a subway tunnel through that imperiled ecosystem isn’t exactly an easy task, particularly since migrating seasons last for six months, from January to June. To avoid disturbing nests, project contractor Shimmick Construction Co. had to relocate much of its tunneling equipment and extend workers’ hours. As a result, Shimmick requested $4.99 million in additional pay from BART, on top of its existing $136 million contract.

BART staffers said the change-order requests from Shimmick were unavoidable, with the construction company having few alternatives to avoid damaging the habitat. Shimmick also was credited for avoiding any fines or penalties from federal authorities for violations of wildlife codes.

In the end, BART’s board of directors opted to unanimously approve the change-order request.

“I believe that this is the cost of being a good neighbor,” said board member Robert Raburn.

BART’s Warm Springs expansion project will extend rail service 5.4 miles into Fremont. The project will add two stations—Irvington and Warm Springs/South Fremont.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsFremontLocalSan FranciscoTransittransportation

Just Posted

Dominion Voting Systems, a Denver-based vendor, is under contract to supply voting machines for elections in San Francisco. (Kevin N. Hume/Examiner file)
Is San Francisco’s elections director impeding voting machine progress?

Open source technology could break up existing monopoly

The 49ers take on the Packers in Week 3 of the NFL season, before heading into a tough stretch of divisional opponents. (Courtesy San Francisco 49ers)
‘Good for Ball’ or ‘Bad for Ball’ — A Niners analysis

By Mychael Urban Special to The Examiner What’s the first thing that… Continue reading

Health experts praised Salesforce for keeping its Dreamforce conference at Moscone Center outdoors and on a small scale. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Happy birthday, Marc Benioff. Your company did the right thing

Salesforce kept Dreamforce small, which made all kinds of sense

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, pictured with Rose Pak in 2014, says the late Chinatown activist was “helping to guide the community away from the divisions, politically.”
Willie and Rose: How an alliance for the ages shaped SF

How the Mayor and Chinatown activist shaped San Francisco, then and now

The Grove in Golden Gate Park is maintained largely by those who remember San Francisco’s 20,000 AIDS victims.<ins> (Open Eye Pictures/New York Times)</ins>
Looking at COVID through the SF prism of AIDS

AIDS took 40 years to claim 700,000 lives. COVID surpassed that number in 21 months

Most Read