Location California, U.S.
Client Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA)
Services Construction Management, Project Management Oversight, Project Monitoring
Project Value $6 billion
The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) is an independent special district responsible for bus and light rail operations, congestion management, specific highway improvement projects, and countywide transportation planning in Santa Clara County, CA. VTA is both an accessible transit provider and multi-modal transportation planning organization involved with transit, highways, roadways, bikeways, and pedestrian facilities.
Hill is providing project management support to VTA for its long-term Regional Transportation Plan. This is funded through Measure B, a half-cent sales tax measure aimed to fund $6.5 billion in transportation capital projects. The program includes bicycle/pedestrian Caltrain grade separations, expressways, highway interchanges, the SR 58 corridor, and transit operations. Hill’s services include planning, program controls, conceptual design and studies, environmental analysis, final engineering, construction, activation, project close-out, and operations.
Notable projects include:
The Silicon Valley Express Lanes Program: This award-winning Program is deploying express lanes throughout Santa Clara County in phases based on funding availability. Specifically, the Program is converting existing single-lane high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes into express lanes powered by FasTrak® technology. Motorists use FasTrak® transponders to indicate the number of occupants in their vehicles. Carpools with three or more occupants and other toll-exempt vehicles use the lanes for free. Solo drivers pay a toll. Drivers using electric vehicles and two-person carpools are charged at a reduced rate. Signage helps clarify the requirements for toll-exempt drivers and displays the current toll, which varies based on congestion levels. An overhead electronic tolling system (ETS) reads vehicle transponders, automatically deducting from FasTrak® accounts for tolled vehicles, and cameras capture license plate information and help enforce express lane requirements. Ultimately, the Program helps improve traffic flow for motorists throughout Silicon Valley. Notably, VTA’s Program, along with the opening of express lanes in San Mateo County, represents the first usage of FasTrak® technology along U.S. 101 in the Bay Area.
U.S. 101/Trimble Road/De La Cruz Boulevard Interchange Reconstruction Project: In partnership with the City of San Jose and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), VTA is reconstructing the U.S. 101-De La Cruz Boulevard/Trimble Road interchange and the De La Cruz Boulevard/Trimble Road overpass to reduce traffic and enhance safety for vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Hill has helped the project team overcome multiple challenges, including the execution of crane operations to place girders for the new overpass. As the interchange is adjacent to the San Jose International Airport, the team had to use a crane no taller than 85 feet above mean sea level. A shorter crane would have increased the bearing pressure to 21,000 pounds per square foot, resulting in pavement failure. To overcome the bearing pressure, the Hill team coordinated the use of 34 steel plates, 1 inch thick, in the span prior to girder picks. With Hill’s support, the team successfully erected the girders for the new overpass.
U.S. 101 and Blossom Hill Interchange Project: Under the oversight of the City of San José and Caltrans, VTA undertook a project to modify the Blossom Hill Road interchange on U.S. 101 in the City of San José. By widening the existing Blossom Hill Road Overcrossing from four lanes to six and installing a grade-separated bicycle and pedestrian path, this project relieved congestion and improved traffic operations in the vicinity of interchange and improved bicycle and pedestrian connectivity in the area. Hill provided construction management services for the project. This project received a 2023 American Public Works Association (APWA) Silicon Valley Chapter’s Project of the Year Award.
I-280/Wolfe Road Interchange Improvements Project: Hill will provide construction management services to VTA for a planned project to modify the Wolfe Road interchange on I-280 in the City of Cupertino. In cooperation with the City and Caltrans, VTA intends to construct a new structure carrying Wolfe Road over I-280, construct new on-ramps and off-ramps, modify existing local street intersections and upgrade bicycle and pedestrian facilities along Wolfe Road, and construct retaining walls and sound walls as needed. The project aims to improve traffic operations and facilitate pedestrian and bicyclist movement around the interchange.
Mathilda Avenue Improvements at SR 237 and U.S. 101 Project: With Hill’s project management support, VTA and the City of Sunnyvale undertook a project to improve the flow of traffic and make a notoriously congested one-mile stretch of Mathilda Avenue safer for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Using a “Complete Street” design, the team reconfigured the on- and off-ramps of the U.S. 101 and SR 237 interchanges with Mathilda Avenue, removed and added other intersections along with all necessary traffic signal modifications, and created new left-turn lanes. The project also provided for the safety of bikers and pedestrians with bike-lane gaps and pedestrian overcrossings. In addition, the project upgraded the utilities, stormwater treatment facilities, lighting, ramp metering, signage, retaining walls, and VTA’s Orange Line light-rail crossing facilities within the corridor. Hill helped the team overcome several major challenges, such as timely coordination with utilities and Caltrans.
Zero Emission Bus (ZEB) Rollout Plan: The Hill team helped VTA achieve compliance with the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) Innovative Clean Transit (ICT) Regulation by implementing a ZEB Rollout Plan. Hill’s responsibilities included researching the latest ZEB technologies and collecting data to prepare a transition plan for VTA’s bus fleet from diesel to electric propulsion. Within four months, the Hill team visited, collected data on, and interviewed four other transit agencies and prepared a Zero-Emissions Technology Assessment Report. The Report included detailed information about the daily operations of ZEBs from the interviewed transit agencies, which helped VTA better understand the costs, performance, and reliability of ZEBs; infrastructure needed to support the initiative; and the availability and barriers to deploying ZEBs. The Report also helped expedite VTA’s Board’s decision to implement a transition to a 100% zero-emission fleet.
I-280 Foothill Expressway Project: Located in the cities of Cupertino and Los Altos, this project widened the northbound I-280 off-ramp to the Foothill Expressway from one to two lanes. Other upgrades included widened ramp shoulders, a new concrete barrier along the ramp, new striping and signing, and replacement of the existing overhead exit sign and streetlights. This improved traffic weaving operations between this off-ramp and the SR 85 connector. Hill provided a full suite of construction management services for the project.
Eastridge BART Regional Connector Project: This project extends light rail service from the existing Alum Rock Light Rail Station to the Eastridge Transit Center with an elevated guideway located primarily in the center of the Capitol Expressway. The Eastridge extension will also include an elevated light rail station at Story Road and an at-grade station located at the Eastridge Transit Center. When the project is complete, riders will be able to board at Eastridge Station and connect directly with BART at Milpitas Station. Hill and its subconsultants are providing constructability, scheduling, and estimating services during the final stages of design. Hill will provide full construction management services when the construction contract is let.
VTA’S PROGRAM HAS WON SEVERAL AWARDS, INCLUDING:
- OUTSTANDING PROJECT ACHIEVEMENT AWARD IN THE CATEGORY OF INFRASTRUCTURE – NEW FROM THE WESTERN COUNCIL OF CONSTRUCTION CONSUMERS (WCCC)
- INNOVATIVE PROJECT SOLUTIONS AWARD FROM THE WESTERN COUNCIL OF CONSTRUCTION CONSUMERS (WCCC)
- ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM OF THE YEAR AWARD FROM THE CALIFORNIA TRANSPORTATION FOUNDATION (CTF)
- PROJECT OF THE YEAR AWARD IN TRANPORTATION OVER $25 MILLION FROM THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WORKS ASSOCIATION (APWA) SILICON VALLEY CHAPTER