DUBLIN — The opening of the new West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station could be pushed back a year because of welding problems with its two pedestrian walkways.

Welding problems with the walkways, which will take riders over Interstate 580 to the boarding platforms, were discovered during a June 2008 inspection, said BART spokesman Linton Johnson. He said the $80 million station had been scheduled to open next summer, but that could be pushed back a year.

Johnson said the welds did not meet safety requirements, and the transit agency is not satisfied that repairing them would be sufficient. BART believes it would be safer and cheaper to replace the walkways, which cost $1 million each, and new ones will be made.

Scott Fairsgrieve, spokesman for Shimmick Construction of Oakland, the principal contractor for the station and bridge, said the inspection was part of normal CalTrans testing because the walkways cross a freeway. He said BART agrees with the safety findings, but the subcontractor, Olson Steel, does not. Fairsgrieve said his firm believes more investigation is needed.

"We're contending that we would need to do more testing," said Fairsgrieve. He said the main objective is to complete the station, located between the current Castro Valley and Dublin/Pleasanton stations, and that the welding issues will be worked out later. "At this point we're not taking sides either way."


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Johnson said the agency is working on who would be responsible for the added costs, and Fairsgrieve did not want to speculate on that. Johnson said BART has hired an independent firm to oversee the construction of the new bridges to make sure they meet its standards.

Reach Eric Louie at 925-847-2123.