12/09/2011 02:33 pm ET

BART Extension: Santa Clara County Awards $772 Million Contract For San Jose Line

On Thursday, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority board voted to award a $772 million contract for a ten-mile BART extension in Santa Clara County, according to the San Francisco Business Times. The new track will run from the already approved Warm Springs station in Fremont to the Barryessa neighborhood in east San Jose.

The contract is a huge step towards initiating the proposed $2.3 billion project, but the authority is still counting on $900 million in federal funds, expected to be awarded in February. According to SFGate, the Federal Transit Agency has already recommended the project, and the green light is almost certain.

"I would be stunned to the point of needing smelling salts if that doesn't happen, and happen soon," said Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino to SFGate.

According to the Business Times, the contract was awarded to contractor Skanska-Shimmick-Herzog, and the project could begin as early as Spring. Skanska-Shimmick-Herzog's bid was more than $75 million below estimates.