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Track improvements to make BART quieter prompts weekend station closures

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Some weekend BART commuters can expect delays through the fall due to much-needed repairs on tracks. (KGO-TV)

This weekend there will be no BART service between the Glen Park station in San Francisco and Daly City. The agency is shutting things down to begin track improvements that should make things quieter for riders and people who live nearby.

The closure will start at 1 a.m. Saturday and its the first step on the road to a quieter BART ride.

The section of BART track just south of the Balboa Park station generates an ear splitting noise.

"There's about 2,000 feet of rail that is jointed, making a clickity-clack sound as you travel over it," said BART spokesman Jim Allison.

There is also a section known as the Balboa curve, where the wheels grinding against the track generates a screeching noise. ABC7 News measured the sound inside the train with a sound meter and it peaked at 100 decibels, or about the noise level of a busy factory floor with no ear protection.

"I thought it was pretty loud. Definitely noise pollution I guess," said BART rider Leslie Navarrete

"I wish I had some ear plugs or something I could use," said BART rider Rodney Robert.

Neighbors suffer too. Underneath the track at nearby Cayuga Park, the sound meter peaked at 99.9 decibels, the equivalent of standing inches away from an electric drill. Parents who bring their kids try to get used to it.

"I will pause conversations to wait for the train to go by," said parent Amanda White.

Help is coming. BART is shutting down the track between Glen Park and Daly City to put down new welded track to lessen the vibration and some of the noise. Labor Day weekend, they will close again to installhi-tech dampers to absorb even more vibration.

"They're basically shock-absorbers. We'll be putting those in every 30 inches. That should make things more quiet as well," Allison said.

BART will run a free bus bridge around the closure this weekend, a little inconvenience to reduce a lot of noise.

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traffictransportationBARTSan Francisco
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