The California Transportation Commission approved the money Thursday as the first of six installments being paid to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority for the project, according to spokeswoman Bernice Alaniz. These installments will total $240 million over the next few years, she said.
The commission, which allocates money to large-scale transportation projects, awarded the money as part of a $760 million pledge the state made to the project in 2000, Alaniz said.
The proposed /*BART*/ extension would expand the system through Milpitas and Santa Clara into San Jose. The VTA is the lead agency on the $6 billion project.
This latest money is designated for engineering work. Engineering on the 16-mile extension is in the final phases, Alaniz said.
"It's for the final parts of the design, before you start construction," she said. According to the project schedule, construction will likely begin next year, with service starting in 2018.