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

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Riordan Crusaders versus St. Ignatius Wildcats at JB Murphy Field on the St. Ignatius Prepatory High School Campus on September 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner)
State allows high school sports to resume, but fight is far from over

For the first time since mid-March 2020, there is hope for high… Continue reading

A nurse draws up a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Mission neighborhood COVID-19 vaccine site on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SF expands vaccine eligiblity, but appointments ‘limited’

San Francisco expanded eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations Wednesday but appointments remain limited… Continue reading

The now-shuttered Cliff House restaurant overlooks Ocean Beach people at Ocean Beach on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli / Special to the S.F. Examiner)
History buffs working to keep Cliff House collection in public view

Funds needed to buy up historic building’s contents at auction

Perceived supply and demand in the Bay Area’s expensive rental market can play a big part in determining what people pay. (Shutterstock)
Bay Area rental market is rebounding — but why?

Hearing about people leaving town can have as big an effect as actual economic factors

Most Read