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SMART Expected to Approve $103M Contract

SMART has completed negotiations with Stacy and Witbeck Inc. and Herzog Contracting Corporation to build the first phase of the project.

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit district is expected to approve a $103 million contract Monday for the construction of the rail project between Santa Rosa and San Rafael.

SMART has completed negotiations with Stacy and Witbeck Inc. and Herzog Contracting Corporation to build the first phase of the project, SMART's general manager Farhad Mansourian said.

The SMART district also said the first phase of the project has been extended an additional 1.5 miles north to include service to a north Santa Rosa station on Guerneville Road and the repair of the Novato Creek Bridge.

The Guerneville Road station is near the Coddingtown mall and near several apartment complexes.

Also included in the first phase is a train station in north Novato at Atherton Avenue.

The first phase of the rail line will run 38.5 miles between downtown San Rafael and the north Santa Rosa station.

SMART Vice-Chair Judy Arnold said the construction contract the board will consider Monday morning at its meeting in Santa Rosa "gets more done for less money."

Mansourian said if the board approves the contract Monday, construction will start the next day.

The initial train and bike and pedestrian project was to run 70 miles between Cloverdale and Larkspur. Voters in both counties approved a one-quarter percent sales tax to help finance the project.

The scope of the project was reduced because of a funding shortfall, prompting the

to gather signatures on petitions to repeal the tax and put it on the ballot this year, most likely in November.

The question of whether RepealSMART needs 15,000, 30,000 or 39,000 signatures is still under dispute and may be decided in court.

— Bay City News Service

Mari January 09, 2012 at 05:54 PM
I voted for the SMART train. I'm not too thrilled that it's not connecting with Larkspur, but I still support the concept of the train, so at this point in time, I do not support RepealSMART. Projects always cost more than first estimate. That said, I would like to know more about WHY the people who are trying to repeal the tax are so passionate about it - so I'm going to look into it.
Ben Boyce January 10, 2012 at 12:22 AM
The SMART train and bike pathway has wide support from both the marin and Sonoma Bike coalitions, the North Bay Labor Council, business groups like the North Coast leadership Council, as well as environmental groups like Sonoma County Conservation Action. We have created agroup called the SMART Riders Coalition to inform the public about the benefits of this project. Find out everything you might need to know by going to our website, http://smartriders.wordpress.com/ .
Kathleen Zalecki January 14, 2012 at 06:08 PM
The SmartTrain will be an excellent way to reduce traffic congestion and pollution. BART was voted down years ago in Marin, but it has proved to be an invaluable transit system in the East Bay. Let’s hope this same mistake will not be made for the SMART Train.

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