Festivities, Ceremony Mark BART Opening

A virtual who's who of local and regional officials were on hand for the Grand Opening Celebration of the new BART Dublin/Pleasanton extension. Mayors from Tri-Valley communities were joined by BART officials and U.S. Representative Ellen Tauscher in observing the milestone.

"I am extremely proud to be here today to witness the completion of the first series of BART extensions in BART's 25 years of service," remarked Margaret K. Pryor, president of the BART board of directors. "These state-of-the-art stations will offer weary Tri-Valley commuters relief from traffic congestion, and increase much needed transit access and mobility along the 580 corridor."

Time and again, the speakers echoed the team effort necessary for the creation of the 14-mile extension.

"The two new stations and the completion of the extension represent an enormous team accomplishment," said Thomas Margro, BART general manager. "The communities of San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, Dublin, and Pleasanton all worked with BART to make this extension a success. Dozens of contractors, and thousands of workers helped make the two stations and 14 miles of track a reality."

One speaker even recalled the June, 1964 groundbreak-ing, presided over by President Lyndon Johnson, for the first 4.4 miles of BART track between Concord and Walnut Creek.

The $517 million project faced a number of hurdles in its completion, the most recent of which was integrating the train control system of the new extension into that of the 25-year-old main line. In addition to the construction of the two stations, 21 BART bridges were built, including nine freeway bridges. I-238 was also widened to accommodate BART tracks.

In addition, a foundation was built for a possible West Dublin/Pleasanton station, adjacent to Stoneridge Mall, although construction on that site has not yet been scheduled.

The Dublin/Pleasanton station has the latest in transit amenities, including a large number of bus bays, bicycle lockers, "kiss-and-ride" drop off points, and more. Ticket machines at both stations on the new extension allow customers to buy tickets with credit or ATM cards as well as cash.

For transit information, including details on free WHEELS passes for Hacienda employees, contact the Hacienda Transportation Hotline at (510) 734-6551 or access the Hacienda web site at www.hacienda.org .

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