Bring your luggage and fly Oakland International Airport! On November 21 BART celebrated the opening of the long awaited BART Coliseum Station to Oakland International Airport Connector Train. After fifteen years of starts and stops, the design-build operate and maintain project finally got underway on November 1, 2010. The Connector is an automated people mover that covers 3.1 miles from the BART Coliseum Station to the Oakland International Airport. Although a short portion of the connector runs at-grade via a U-wall and tunnel, most of the system is on an elevated tubular steel truss guideway, which provides for great views. The Austrian proven technology used for the train system is a cable driven system similar to San Francisco cable cars, but run much faster and smoother. The giant drive wheels and machinery are located in a central facility where four cable systems are pulling the in-and-out bound trains in between the two stations. The giant return wheels are located at each station. BART passengers will now enjoy an eight minute trip between stations, fourteen minutes door-to-door, with only a five minute wait time for the trains. As currently configured with a three-car train, the system can carry up to 3.2 passengers a year and it is expandable up to 4.9 passengers a year with four car trains. This challenging project required the coordination and cooperation of several principal agencies, including Caltrans, the Port of Oakland-Airport, the City of Oakland, UPRR and others. This FTA funded Buy America project, provided not only national opportunities for firms, but much needed jobs for the local trade community.
Swinerton Management & Construction-Infrastructure, through a Jacobs On-Call contract, provided a key oversight management position on the project to oversee the fixed facilities; this project further developed our expertise in the transportation industry. Being the third BART project for the Infrastructure group, it is by far the largest. Swinerton Management & Consulting looks forward to future projects with BART and BART related projects.