HERCULES -- The city held another groundbreaking ceremony for its Intermodal Transit Center project Wednesday, just a year after a similar ceremony on Bayfront Boulevard along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and the San Pablo Bay shoreline.

The September 2012 affair broke ground for the transit complex, envisioned to encompass an Amtrak train station, WestCAT bus transfer area and ferry terminal connecting to San Francisco, and for the adjacent Bayfront Transit Village, to be developed by a private-sector group.

On Wednesday, officials celebrated groundbreaking for Hercules' segment of the San Francisco Bay Trail as well as the completion, since last year's ceremony, of site preparation for a Path to Transit that will include an extension of John Muir Parkway.

Hercules Mayor John Delgado addresses the gathering during a groundbreaking ceremony for the new intermodal transit center in Hercules, Calif., on
Hercules Mayor John Delgado addresses the gathering during a groundbreaking ceremony for the new intermodal transit center in Hercules, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

Speakers included Rep. Mike Thompson, D-Napa, Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover, Hercules Mayor John Delgado and Jim Anderson of AndersonPacific LLC, who heads the transit village developer group.

Regional and local officials attending included representatives of U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer and state Sens. Mark DeSaulnier and Loni Hancock and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner. William Silva, the city's consultant project manager, also was present. City Manager Steve Duran emceed.

Thompson, Delgado and several other speakers touted ferries as the wave of the future for cross-bay transportation. Thompson said the ITC would be a boon not only to transportation but business and the environment as well.

"There's something here for everyone," he said.

Janet Abelson, chairwoman of the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee, hailed the future ITC as "one of the state's premier intermodal facilities."

"We are as committed as you are to your dream," Abelson told the gathering of close to 100 people. "It's our dream."

She noted that the project got $10.4 million of Measure J county transportation sales tax funds; $15 million of State Transportation Improvement Program funds; and $6.5 million in subregional transportation funds.

Dignitaries gather near the waterfront for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new intermodal transit center in Hercules, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 4,
Dignitaries gather near the waterfront for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new intermodal transit center in Hercules, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. (Kristopher Skinner/Bay Area News Group)

The cost to complete the ITC, as of a year ago, stood about $76 million, not counting $13.5 million the city previously spent. The price tag does not include a ferry component, which is relegated to some future phase of the project but continues to be one of its main selling points.

Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760. Follow him at Twitter.com/tomlochner