As a major BART extension project reaches downtown San José—an area rich with significant historic buildings—extra care was required to ensure that construction activities do not result in significant impacts.

Why does this project matter?

The cities of San José, Santa Clara, and greater South Bay continue to experience substantial growth and redevelopment, and the BART Extension Project is a major infrastructure investment that addresses mounting regional transportation pressures.

What is ESA doing to help?

The BART Extension Project required solid application of current preservation practices combined with expertise in materials science and archaic construction methods to accurately assess the current conditions of historic buildings. This information served to establish a baseline for monitoring and potential pre-emptive mitigation to avoid impacts to historic buildings from construction-related impacts.

Under an on-call contract, ESA’s architectural historians assisted the VTA in the rapid survey and assessment of exterior and interior conditions of 42 national, state, and locally listed historic resources along a six-mile segment of the Berryessa to Santa Clara BART extension project. Our scope of work includes both pre-construction existing condition surveys and condition assessment reports (CARs) and post-construction CARs, as well as ongoing historic resource planning support, and Programmatic Agreement Annual Reports.

We also supported VTA’s team of geotechnical and structural engineers during the survey process. This project required rapid deployment, often with less than 24-hour notice to place staff in the field to accommodate building owner schedules and the changing COVID-related protocols and restrictions. ESA leveraged a mobile data capture system to condense the time between data capture and draft development, enabling VTA to maintain a tightly constrained project timeline.

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