Crews break ground on new Concord BART plaza

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- The $6 million project at the Concord BART station begins on the same morning that saw more delays due to mechanical issues.

This follows another challenging day last Friday.

The mayor says this improvement project has been in the works for 20 years, so they're saying you have to think of this separately from track issues. Officials are trying to figure out what's causing delays and know that's what passengers are talking about but they say this project is important, too.

When you talk to BART riders about improvements coming to Concord, you can tell they really haven't thought about the station they rush through every day.

But BART has big plans. Renderings show how they plan to improve the Concord Plaza.

Riders will soon have raised crosswalks and better lighting. Riders who want to walk from Concord's Todos Santos Plaza to BART will have a new walkway. "So being able to create kind of like that red carpet setting to where BART riders can get off here at downtown BART and be able to travel that avenue all the way into Downtown Concord," Assm. Tim Grayson (D - Concord) said.

But some riders question whether any of this is necessary. "Didn't need any improvement at all. It just takes up more parking and it's overcrowded as it is. Just makes it, I don't know, doesn't need to be done in my opinion. But, oh well," BART rider Matt Johnson said.

This focus on Concord's Plaza comes as BART is, once again, dealing with delays from equipment problems.

The Friday evening commute was snarled because of track problems in Concord. Elected officials say money has already been designated for this plaza project, but they also have money and plans for track improvement.

"We do a lot of things at BART. We can't just focus on one thing. We were successful in the three Bay Area counties in November passing Measure RR. That will provide $3.5 million in capital improvement for the district. We're in the process of identifying the highest-priority projects," BART director Joel Keller said.

A BART spokesperson said they're trying to figure out what caused those delays Friday.
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