SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The BART extension from Fremont to the Berryessa district of San Jose has now passed the last hurdle to qualify for federal funding.

The 10-mile project is now in the Federal Transit Administration’s final design phase.

“It means that the Federal Transit Administration is giving the high five to this project,” said Bernice Alaniz with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. “We’ve met the technical and financial capacity and have shown the Federal Transit Administration that we have the capability and capacity to deliver this $2 billion first phase of the BART Silicon Valley project.”

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

Alaniz said they expect groundbreaking on the extension to take place early next year.

“We’re already doing some of the pre-construction activities, such as moving utilities and clearing the corridor for the future BART system,” she said.

Last week, four pre-qualified teams were selected to submit engineering proposals.

“Those proposals are due in August. This is where those four teams will be engaging the contracting community to put together their own individual proposals on how they plan to construct and deliver this project,” said Alaniz.

Construction is expected to take about four years to complete, with passenger service scheduled to begin in 2018.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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