BART announces timetable for Transbay Tube repairs

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- BART announced the timetable for planned repairs of tracks that will close the Transbay Tube for five days between now and Labor Day.

For BART riders, the good news is the quality of the trip through the Transbay Tube is about to improve. The bad news is on August 1 and 2 and then three days of Labor Day weekend, riders will need another form of transportation because the tube will close for repairs.

ABC7 News asked BART if this was a tough decision.

"It wasn't tough at all. It was either a planned closure or an unmanned closure," said BART operations manager Paul Oversier.

BART gathered reporters in a Hayward work yard Tuesday morning to explain the problem and their solution.

After 40 years, sections of original track have become unstable, especially in a switching area just east of the Transbay Tube. It does not work, anymore and BART must replace it to keep trains moving in both directions should there be an emergency.

"We just want to be safe. Better to replace them and make it brand new," said BART spokesman Jim Allison.

As a work-around, BART will have 80 busses carrying passengers across the bay. In the meantime, more than 100 men will begin work to not only repair the switches, but lay new smoother, quieter track.

For BART superintendent Thomas Delaney, who is in charge of all that rail, the five days closures provide a unique opportunity.

"We take advantage of every minute. And we get two to three hours a night to complete our work. Give us three days and we will try to rebuild the world," Delaney said.

When the project concludes, expect smoother, quieter rides. That screeching sound you're so used to hearing will be one of the past.
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