SAN JOSE (KCBS) – The BART to Silicon Valley project is expected to cause construction headaches for at least the next decade or so.

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Downtown San Jose would get the brunt of the building pains, because the plan is to dig a five-mile tunnel under much of the downtown area.

“If there’s construction for the next 10 years, I don’t think I could handle it,” said Esther Lee, who works in downtown.

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The $4.7 billion construction project will bring street closures, detours, night work and other impacts to the downtown area.

Spokesperson Brandi Childress of Valley Transportation Authority, which is building the BART extension, said the heavy construction should only last about five years.

“We are going to be doing most of that work underneath the street, where people will not see it,” Childress told KCBS. “We won’t have an open trench for five miles into downtown San Jose.”

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First construction could begin as early as next year. The VTA is urging patience saying all of this is necessary to bring a much-needed BART subway to San Jose.