Mountain View Voice

News - May 23, 2014

Public input sought on VTA's light rail project

by Kayla Layaoen

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will begin the second phase of a project to add a second set of light rail tracks in Mountain View in early 2015.

This new set of tracks would allow VTA to expand transit options between the Mountain View and Whisman light rail stations and better accommodate visitors to the new Levi's Stadium, which will open in August.

The first phase of the project is set to begin this summer and be completed by next fall. It involves extending the track by about 1,400 feet and connecting the track with a single track west of the Highway 85 overpass, among other minor changes.

The second phase will add the second set of tracks between the Mountain View and Whisman Light Rail Stations and remove the existing Evelyn station. Construction is set to be completed in late 2015.

The project also requires the removal of seven to 10 trees, both heritage and ornamental. Because the VTA is recognized as a special district, it is not required to comply with Mountain View's heritage tree ordinance, which states that any removed heritage trees must be replaced. However, it will still comply with the ordinance's intent and coordinate with the city arborist in order to replace the trees.

A study on the environmental effects of the project can be viewed on the VTA's website. Hard copies of the 184-page document are available at the Mountain View Public Library.

VTA will implement a stormwater pollution prevention plan before undergoing any ground-disturbing activities. Erosion and sediment control barriers will be set up between the work area and Stevens Creek. Catchment tarps, otherwise known as "bridge diapers" will be installed prior to bridge work activity in order to catch and remove construction debris.

No large nests were noticed in any neighboring trees or bushes while the area was surveyed. However, as birds and raptors could potentially nest in such areas, VTA has scheduled construction work to begin after nesting season, according to the study.

Comments on the project can be emailed to ire.initialstudy@vta.org or sent by mail to 3331 N. First Street, Building B2, San Jose, CA 95134.

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