Press Releases

Now starting: Construction of Central Subway stations, tracks and operating systems

Press Releases - Wed, 10/02/2013 - 15:56

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This building in Chinatown will be demolished soon to make way for the Central Subway Chinatown Station.

Last month, we started the first construction activities to build the Central Subway’s stations, tracks and operating systems. This work will extend the Muni Metro T Third Line underground to improve public transit in some of San Francisco’s busiest neighborhoods. Once in operation, the Central Subway will cut travel times in half along congested Stockton Street and 4th Street while enhancing connections to BART, Muni Metro and Caltrain.

The first construction activities are preparatory in nature and include installing monitoring devices, putting up fences and removing hazardous materials at future subway station sites in Chinatown and SoMa. After completing this work, contractor Tutor Perini will demolish the existing structures at the sites of the future Chinatown Station (933-949 Stockton Street) and Yerba Buena/Moscone Station (260-266 4th Street). Station construction will follow.

At other locations, construction will commence later this year or in 2014. Construction timelines and impacts will vary significantly at the various project sites (more details below). Construction is expected to finish in 2018.

UMS Rendering - SE view - Sept 2012

Over the next few years, we will build the Union Square/Market Street Station on Stockton Street. This rendering shows the station entrance that will be built in Union Square Plaza, at the corner of Stockton and Geary.

The construction is part of SFMTA Contract 1300 (Stations, Track and Systems), awarded to Tutor Perini, a leading California-based construction firm, earlier this year. As part of this contract, Tutor Perini will construct three subway stations, one surface-level station, 1.7 miles of train tracks and the operating systems for the T Third Line extension.

Tutor Perini has extensive experience in building public infrastructure in the Bay Area and around the country. Tutor Perini improved the seismic reliability of the Richmond Bridge and is currently building the expansion of the Caldecott tunnel in the East Bay, among numerous other major projects.

To inform local businesses, residents, property owners and community groups about construction timelines and impacts, the SFMTA and Tutor Perini will work in partnership to disseminate  information and host community meetings before major work begins. The public may learn about Central Subway community meetings and construction by signing up for the project’s weekly construction emails. An online signup form is available at http://eepurl.com/oOs-b.

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Construction will take place at the sites of the four new stations, an on 4th Street south of the 1-80 overpass.

The following provides an overview of the work included in this major construction undertaking. More information is available in this press release from the SFMTA.

Timeline

Construction will be in progress at various sites from September 2013 to February 2018. Timelines will vary significantly at each site. Additional information will be provided in the coming months.

Locations and Scope of Work

Southern SoMa:

  • Location: Along and under 4th Street, between Bryant Street and King Street.
  • Main activities: Surface-level station at 4th and Brannan, surface-level tracks from King Street to the tunnel portal at Bryant Street, track reconfiguration at 4th and King streets to connect the Central Subway with existing T Third Line.

Northern SoMa:

  • Location: Along and under 4th Street, between Howard and Folsom streets.
  • Main activities: Demolition of gas station at 260 4th Street, construction of Yerba Buena/Moscone Station.

Union Square:

  • Location: Along and under Stockton Street, between Geary and Ellis streets, and at the southeast corner of Union Square Plaza.
  • Main activities: Union Square/Market Street Station, station entrance at southeast corner of Union Square Plaza, underground concourse connection to Powell Street Station.

Chinatown:

  • Location: Along and under Stockton Street, between Stockton and Washington streets, and at 933-949 Stockton Street.
  • Main activities: Demolition of 933-949 Stockton, construction of Chinatown Station at Stockton and Washington streets.
Categories: Press Releases

Photos: Mayor Lee, public officials, community members celebrate TBM Mom Chung and upcoming start of tunneling

Press Releases - Thu, 06/06/2013 - 16:05

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A tour group visits tunnel boring machine Mom Chung beneath busy 4th Street.

Tunnel boring machine Mom Chung is almost assembled and just about ready for launch. This month, the 350-foot-long, 750-ton tunnel-building behemoth will begin her journey north beneath the streets of San Francisco, constructing the city’s first new subway tunnel in decades.

Last week we celebrated Mom Chung’s upcoming journey with an event at the site where tunneling will begin. After speeches by Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Chief of Staff Robert Edmonson, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim and others, guests toured the underground site where Mom Chung is being assembled. They sent her off by signing their names on her cylindrical shield, wishing her a safe and successful voyage beneath SoMa, Union Square, Chinatown and North Beach.

The photos below are of the event, held last Thursday on and below 4th Street. For more photos, visit us on Flickr. To find out more about the event, check out this press release from the SFMTA.

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Before the event, the stage was set with safety gear for special guests and honored speakers.

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Reporters set up cameras, preparing for the arrival of Mayor Lee and other special guests.

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A cheerful Mayor Lee talks about the many benefits of the Central Subway — reducing travel times, connecting San Francisco’s neighborhoods and preparing for the growth expected in the city in coming years and decades.

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Supervisors Jane Kim and David Chiu listen to Mayor Lee’s speech. The Central Subway (and Mom Chung) will travel through their districts.

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Mayor Lee prepares to cut the cake decorated with TBM Mom Chung. Thanks to Victoria Pastry for creating this delicious treat.

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Central Subway Program Director John Funghi leads the first tour of the excavation, known as a launch box, where Mom Chung is being assembled and will begin tunneling.

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At the entrance to the launch box, tour goers look with awe upon Mom Chung.

 

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Mayor Lee signs Mom Chung. The TBM will help build “our future San Francisco.”

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Others, including Supervisor Chiu, sign their names and messages on the TBM.

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Gina Low Weiss, grandniece of Dr. Margaret “Mom” Chung, after whom the TBM is named, signs her name and writes her message on the machine.

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This section of Mom Chung, known as the trailing gear, performs a variety of functions, including carrying excavated spoils out of the tunnel and bringing concrete tunnel segments in.

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After the tour, participants exited the launch box, returning outside to a warm, sunny day.

 

Categories: Press Releases

Apple Store entrance to Powell Street Station to close for Central Subway construction

Press Releases - Mon, 04/22/2013 - 15:12

BART entrance closure

While the Stockton and Ellis entrance is closed, customers may use one of seven other entrances to access the Powell Street Station.

Starting Wednesday, April 24, the entrance to the Powell Street Station located at Stockton and Ellis streets will close to accommodate Central Subway construction. The closure of this entrance, also known as the Apple Store entrance, will be in effect for approximately five years to facilitate construction of the Central Subway tunnel and Union Square/Market Street Station.

When the Central Subway opens in 2019, this entrance will provide convenient access to the T Third Line at the future Union Square/Market Street Station. An underground concourse connection will link the Union Square/Market Street and Powell Street stations, allowing customers to transfer easily between the T Third Line and the BART and Muni Metro lines operating in the Market Street tunnel.

To facilitate access to Powell Street Station while the Apple Store entrance is closed, signage will direct customers to the nearest alternate entrance at 4th and Market streets.

We appreciate your continued patience while construction is in progress.

Categories: Press Releases

Introducing Big Alma and Mom Chung, the Central Subway’s tunnel boring machines

Press Releases - Thu, 03/07/2013 - 13:42

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Mom Chung, shown here, will construct the tunnel for southbound trains. More photos of both TBMs are available on our Flickr page. (Photo courtesy of The Robbins Company)

We are excited to introduce Big Alma and Mom Chung, the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will excavate and construct the Central Subway tunnels. Named Big Alma, after “Big Alma” de Bretteville Spreckels, and Mom Chung, after Dr. Margaret “Mom” Chung, the machines will begin tunneling later this year, starting in SoMa and heading north under 4th Street and Stockton Street through Union Square, Chinatown and North Beach. A press release about the TBMs is available online here.

The first of the machines, Mom Chung, is expected to arrive in San Francisco in April. The 300-foot-long machine will be assembled within an excavation on 4th Street between Harrison and Bryant streets and will start building the tunnel for southbound trains about two months later. Big Alma will arrive soon after Mom Chung to construct the northbound tunnel.

As tunneling proceeds, updates about the TBMs, including photos of the machines and the tunnels, will be posted on Twitter at the usernames @BigAlmatheTBM and @MomChungtheTBM. You can learn more about them on our website, at www.centralsubwaysf.com/tbm-name.

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The front of the TBM, called the cutter head, spins as it excavates. In this photo Mom Chung is being tested before being disassembled for transport to San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of Barnard Impregilo Healy)

The names were selected by the public in an online poll held in January. Participants could select up to two names, one for each TBM. Of the 1,453 responses, Big Alma was the top vote-getter at 682 votes. Mom Chung took second place with 487 votes, closely followed by Firebelle Lil (451 votes), Mary Ellen (437 votes) and Juana (148 votes).

In tunneling tradition, the custom of naming TBMs is believed to bring good luck to tunneling projects. The names will remain in official use by the SFMTA and the tunneling contractor throughout the duration of the project.

“Big Alma and Mom Chung will construct San Francisco’s first new subway tunnel in decades, bringing together neighborhoods of our city that have long been in need of improved public transit,” said SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin. “We are happy to have included the public in this exciting part of tunneling tradition. We thank everyone who voted for contributing to this important project.”

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Big Alma, shown here, is still being assembled. She will arrive in San Francisco after Mom Chung to construct the northbound tunnel.

Each TBM consists of a rotating cutter wheel (the cutter head), a cylindrical steel shell (the shield) and a 300-foot train of tunnel-building mechanisms (the trailing gear). The TBMs will arrive in several parts, to be assembled at the site on 4th Street between Harrison and Bryant streets where tunneling will begin.

About the Winning Names:

“Big Alma” de Bretteville Spreckels (1881-1968): Known as “Big Alma” (she was 6 feet tall) and “The Great-Grandmother of San Francisco,” Alma de Bretteville Spreckels was a wealthy socialite and philanthropist who, among her many accomplishments, persuaded her first husband, sugar magnate Adolph B. Spreckels, to fund the design and construction of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor at Land’s End in San Francisco.  A model in her youth, Spreckels was the inspiration for the “Victory” statue atop the Dewey Monument in the center of Union Square.

Dr. Margaret “Mom” Chung (1889-1959) was the country’s first female Chinese-American physician, practicing in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown. During World War II she “adopted” more than a thousand “sons,” most of them American servicemen, mentoring them, sending them presents and sharing meals with them during and after the war. She was also one of the earliest supporters of women in the Navy. When one of her “sons” became a congressman, he filed the first legislation to create a female branch of the Navy in response to a phone call from “Mom Chung.”

Categories: Press Releases

North Beach update: Planning Commission votes to move TBM retrieval site relocation forward

Press Releases - Fri, 02/15/2013 - 15:45

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The Pagoda Palace in North Beach, long considered an eyesore, will be demolished under a plan to relocate the retrieval site for the Central Subway’s tunnel boring machines.

For the past two months, SFMTA staff and multiple city agencies have been working to allow the relocation of the retrieval site of the Central Subway’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) from Columbus Avenue to the Pagoda Palace (1731-1741 Powell Street). This effort has been undertaken in response to community concerns about construction and traffic disruption associated with the original plan.

On Wednesday the SFMTA completed lease negotiations with the owner of the Pagoda Palace. The lease, a major step forward in the agency’s efforts to relocate the retrieval site, allows for the demolition of the existing building and the use of the property to retrieve the TBMs. We thank the community, Mayor Lee, Supervisor David Chiu, numerous city agencies, and the property owner for their support and cooperation in achieving this agreement. You can view the press announcement about the lease agreement here.

Although several steps remain before the retrieval site relocation is finalized, yesterday two integral components of the relocation plan moved forward when the Planning Commission voted to approve a Conditional Use (CU) application and recommend a Special Use District (SUD) for the Pagoda Palace site. The SUD and CU would allow the owner of the Pagoda Palace to move forward with a previously approved development project after the building is demolished and the TBMs extracted.

In the coming weeks, items related to the relocation plan will be considered at the following meetings:

  • On Tuesday, February 19, the SFMTA Board of Directors will consider the Pagoda Palace lease. This meeting will begin at 1 p.m. at City Hall, Room 400.
  • On Monday, February 25, the Board of Supervisors’ Land Use Committee will consider the SUD. This meeting will begin at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall, Room 263.

As always, we welcome and encourage public comment at these meetings.

We will continue to keep you informed as we work to finalize the retrieval site change. We thank you for your continued participation as we work to respond to community concerns about construction in North Beach.

Categories: Press Releases

Central Subway construction to resume around Union Square on January 2

Press Releases - Fri, 12/28/2012 - 14:24

This construction site has been temporarily restored to traffic during the holiday season. Construction will resume here next week.

Next week traffic modifications on Stockton and Ellis streets near Union Square will recommence to accommodate construction of the Central Subway tunnel.

Beginning Wednesday, January 2, Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets will be closed to all vehicles except emergency vehicles. Ellis Street between Stockton Street and the Ellis-O’Farrell Garage will be closed to westbound traffic.

This section of Stockton Street is planned to remain closed throughout the duration of Central Subway construction around Union Square.

Access to local businesses, residences and driveways will be maintained. The Central Subway team will continue to work closely with communities, local businesses and organizations to inform them of construction impacts and to ensure that appropriate mitigation measures are in place.

More information, including detailed traffic, transit and pedestrian impacts, is available in this press release from the SFMTA.

We appreciate your continued patience while construction is in progress.

Categories: Press Releases

Construction Update: Central Subway construction during the holiday season

Press Releases - Mon, 11/19/2012 - 16:32

This construction site near Union Square will be restored and reopened to traffic during the holiday season.

During the holiday season, construction at some currently active Central Subway construction sites will pause, with roadways and pedestrian walkways restored to regular use. At other sites, construction will continue.

This blog post provides a summary of construction impacts between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. For a complete listing of construction impacts, including work hours and traffic and pedestrian impacts, check out this press release from the SFMTA.

No construction will occur at any sites on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

Construction will continue at this site in SoMa, with the full closure of this block of 4th Street planned to remain in effect between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

Here’s what you can expect in SoMa, Union Square, Chinatown and North Beach during the holiday season:

  • Union Square (Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary, Ellis Street between Stockton and Powell): Construction will pause at the site of the future Union Square/Market Street Station. Stockton Street and Ellis Street will be paved and reopened to traffic by Thanksgiving Day. After New Year’s Day, this section of Stockton Street will again close to traffic, and construction on Ellis Street will also begin again.
  • SoMa (4th Street between Harrison and Bryant): The contractor will work through the holiday season to construct a major excavation known as a launch box. 4th Street will remain closed to vehicle traffic. The sidewalk on the east side of the street will remain open to pedestrians. The on-ramp to westbound I-80 at 4th and Harrison may be closed on evenings and weekends.
  • SoMa (4th Street between Folsom and Harrison): Starting in December, the contractor will be excavating shallow trenches on the east side of the road and installing pipes to be used for ground improvement related to tunneling. The easternmost lane (left lane for southbound traffic) may be closed during limited times during construction hours (Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
  • SoMa (4th Street between Folsom and Howard): Construction of below-ground walls, called headwalls, at the site of the future Yerba Buena/Moscone Station will continue through the holiday season. At least three lanes on 4th Street will be open to traffic during regular construction hours (Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.). Night work may occur, and traffic may be reduced to two lanes between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. The sidewalk on the western side of the street may be impacted. Pedestrian detours will be provided.
  • Chinatown (Stockton Street between Sacramento and Vallejo): Construction will commence in December to install subsurface monitoring instruments related to the Central Subway tunnel. One lane on Stockton Street may be closed during construction hours in the vicinity of construction zones. Lane closures will impact traffic on up to two approximately half-block sections of Stockton Street at a time during construction hours (Monday to Friday, 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.)
  • North Beach (Columbus Avenue between Union and Filbert): This construction site will be paved and reopened to traffic by Thanksgiving. Central Subway crews will not be working in this area during the holiday season; however, AT&T may be performing work related to the Central Subway. AT&T’s work will involve a crew of approximately two people working inside manholes. No street excavation will occur as part of AT&T’s work.

We wish you a happy holidays, and we thank you for your continued patience as construction progresses.

Categories: Press Releases

Contract news: Contract to construct Central Subway stations, track, operating systems advertised

Press Releases - Tue, 10/23/2012 - 11:11

The image above shows renderings of the four Central Subway stations. Clockwise from the top left: Chinatown Station, Union Square/Market Street Station, 4th and Brannan Station, Yerba Buena/Moscone Station. Additional renderings can be viewed online here.

This week a contract to construct the stations, track and operating systems for the Central Subway was advertised. The estimated $720 to $750 million contract includes construction of three subway stations, one surface-level station, train tracks and other components of the T Third Line extension through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown.

The contract includes work that was previously divided into four separate construction contracts. Combining the contracts will allow the Central Subway Program to save time and money by eliminating constraints involved in coordinating and integrating four separate construction packages. It will also provide for a stronger and more consistent program to provide opportunities for small businesses and local residents seeking jobs.

“By providing much-needed job training for out-of-work San Franciscans and incorporating strong Small Business Enterprise participation goals, the Central Subway will benefit our community long before it is in service,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “As we build this crucial addition to our public transit system, this major contract will contribute greatly to our local economy.”

Combining the contracts has no impact on the Central Subway’s $1.6 billion budget. Bids for the contract are due January 23, 2013.

A meet-and-greet event for prospective prime contractors and Small Business Enterprise (SBE) firms will be held by the end of the year.

The contract includes several provisions to encourage local hiring and provide opportunities for small businesses and disadvantaged San Franciscans. It incorporates a robust Small Business Enterprise (SBE) participation goal of 20 percent. In addition, the winning contractor will be required to set aside 50 percent of the trucking and hauling work for certified SBE firms.

The contract also includes $1.5 million to hire socially and economically disadvantaged individuals for entry-level jobs, such as general clean-up and pedestrian safety monitoring. In addition, the winning contractor will establish a Construction Management Trainee Program and to provide socially and economically disadvantaged individuals with at least 40,000 hours of on-the-job training for construction management positions. The contractor will work with the SFMTA Contract Compliance Office and community-based organizations to identify applicants for these jobs from the neighborhoods along the Central Subway alignment and elsewhere in San Francisco.

Construction of the following elements of the Central Subway is included in the contract:

  • The Chinatown Station, a subway station with an entrance at Stockton and Washington streets;
  • The Union Square/Market Street Station, a subway station with entrances at Stockton and Geary streets and Stockton and Ellis streets;
  • A concourse connecting the Union Square/Market Street Station to the existing Powell Street Muni/BART Station;
  • The Yerba Buena/Moscone Station, a subway station with an entrance at 4th and Clementina streets;
  • The 4th and Brannan Station, a surface-level station on 4th Street between Brannan and Bryant streets;
  • Surface tracks on 4th Street between 4th and King streets and the subway tunnel portal on 4th Street between Bryant and Harrison streets;
  • Trackbed, tracks, switches and train control systems within the Central Subway tunnel.

A pre-bid conference for the contract is scheduled for November 27. A meet-and-greet for prospective prime contractors and SBE firms will be held by the end of the year.

More information about the contract is available on our project website’s Current Contracts page and in this press release from the SFMTA. Bid documents are available online here.

Categories: Press Releases

Major news for San Francisco: Federal funding for the Central Subway Project has been approved

Press Releases - Fri, 10/12/2012 - 16:47

Federal, state and local officials gathered in Union Square yesterday to announce approval of federal funding for the Central Subway Project.

Yesterday Mayor Edwin M. Lee and key officials announced that an agreement dedicating $942.2 million in federal funds to the Central Subway Project has been approved. This major funding news finalizes the financing for extending the Muni Metro T Third Line through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Administrator Peter Rogoff, Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and other federal, state and local officials joined Mayor Lee to announce the approval of funding through the FTA’s New Starts program.

“When the Central Subway is complete, our city will see a stronger economy, a larger workforce, decreased pollution, less congestion, and faster, safer commutes,” said Leader Pelosi. “Working with partners and leaders from government, business, and the community, this project will serve as an economic engine for our city, improve and enhance our infrastructure, and connect the diverse communities of San Francisco.”

A major improvement over existing transit service along the congested 4th Street and Stockton Street corridors, the Central Subway will cut travel times by more than half compared to current Muni bus routes. In addition, construction of this major infrastructure project will create thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly, and provide a boost to the local economy.

The announcement took place at a ceremony held at the future site of the Union Square/Market Street Station. More information about the Central Subway and this exciting funding news is available in this press release from Mayor Lee.

Here are some photos of the event:

Secretary LaHood announced approval of the federal funds, earning a round of applause from attendees.

Democratic Leader Pelosi, a longtime advocate for the Central Subway, spoke about her experiences trying to catch Muni buses along the congested Stockton Street corridor. Crowded buses crawl along Stockton Street at a rate as slow as three miles per hour.

Senator Feinstein, a strong supporter of the project, spoke about the major improvements to public transit the Central Subway will provide. With the addition of the Central Subway, the T Third Line is projected to become the most heavily used line in the Muni Metro system by 2030.

Congresswoman Speier spoke about the major transit investments planned for the Bay Area, including the Central Subway, California high-speed rail and the electrification of Caltrain. Investments like these will vastly improve the Bay Area’s transportation network.

FTA Administrator Rogoff signs a ceremonial document confirming the New Starts grant. New Starts has contributed $92.4 million to the Central Subway Project to date. The remaining amount will be distributed in annual allocations as the project progresses.

The Central Subway will connect to BART, Caltrain, Muni Metro, Muni bus routes, Muni cable car lines and, in the future, high-speed rail, significantly improving San Francisco’s and the Bay Area’s public transportation network. It is expected to open to the public in 2019.

Categories: Press Releases

Stockton and Ellis Street entrance to Powell Street Muni/BART Station to close August 27

Press Releases - Mon, 08/20/2012 - 10:26

This entrance to the Powell Street Station, located next to the Apple Store at Stockton and Ellis streets, will close next Monday.

Starting next Monday, August 27, the entrance to the Powell Street Station located at Stockton and Ellis streets will close to accommodate Central Subway construction. The closure of this entrance, also known as the Apple Store entrance, will be in effect for approximately six years to facilitate construction of the Central Subway tunnel and Union Square/Market Street Station.

When the Central Subway opens in 2019, this entrance will provide convenient access to the T Third Line at the future Union Square/Market Street Station. An underground concourse connection will link the Union Square/Market Street and Powell Street stations, allowing customers to transfer easily between the T Third Line and the BART and Muni Metro lines operating in the Market Street tunnel.

To facilitate access to Powell Street Station while the Apple Store entrance is closed, signage will direct customers to the nearest alternate entrance at 4th and Market streets.

More information is available in this press release from the SFMTA.

We appreciate your continued patience while construction is in progress.

Categories: Press Releases

Attention 49ers fans: 79X Candlestick Park will be re-routed around Central Subway construction

Press Releases - Thu, 08/09/2012 - 11:58

A 49ers game at Candlestick Park. Photo by Flickr user cho_kettie.

Tomorrow the San Francisco 49ers will host their first pre-season game, facing off against the Minnesota Vikings at 6 p.m. at Candlestick Park.

To accommodate Central Subway construction on Stockton and 4th streets, the southbound 79X Candlestick Express, which provides express service to the 49ers game from downtown, will be re-routed all season.

Customers traveling to the game can board the 79X Candlestick Express at the following locations:

  • Sutter and Sansome
  • Sutter and Kearny
  • Mason and Geary
  • Cyril Magnin and Market
  • 5th Street and Mission
  • 5th Street and Howard
  • 5th Street and Folsom

The southbound buses will then travel express to Candlestick Park. Northbound buses will remain on their regular route.

More information about the 79X Candlestick Express and other 49ers game service is available in this press release from the SFMTA.

Categories: Press Releases

Utility relocation starting in North Beach on August 13

Press Releases - Mon, 08/06/2012 - 13:37

Central Subway construction will take place on this block of Columbus Avenue near Washington Square Park.

Construction associated with the Central Subway tunnel will begin August 13 in North Beach. The work involves relocating utility lines on a half-block section of Columbus Avenue between Union and Powell streets.

The Central Subway tunnel is planned to extend past the last station in Chinatown to North Beach. When tunneling is complete, the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will be removed from the ground on Columbus Avenue. The utility work is expected to take approximately four months to complete and is required to prepare for construction of the TBM retrieval shaft.

Surface construction activity will be take place on Columbus Avenue between Union and Powell streets, with some work at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and Union Street. Construction hours will be Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To mitigate construction impacts, street sweeping will occur on a daily basis, dust and noise will be monitored and controlled, and a traffic control officer and a flagger will facilitate the flow of traffic during work hours.

This map shows the approximate location of construction in North Beach. 

 North Beach Construction Plan: Key Details

  • Starting August 13, the contractor will perform potholing within the construction zone. Relocation of a fire hydrant water line, Muni overhead contact system (OCS) line, low-pressure water line and AT&T duct bank will follow.
  • Construction of a TBM retrieval shaft is planned to begin in early 2013 and continue for approximately 10 months. The retrieval shaft will be constructed on Columbus Avenue between Union and Powell streets. During this time, traffic on this section of Columbus Avenue will be reduced to one northbound lane and one southbound lane.
  • After the retrieval shaft is constructed, it will be covered with decking and all lanes of traffic will be restored.
  • The TBMs will be retrieved in 2014 after tunneling is complete. When the TBMs are removed, traffic will be temporarily impacted.
  • No Central Subway construction is planned to occur in North Beach after the TBMs are removed in 2014.

Details about the upcoming utility relocation are as follows:

  • Location: Columbus Avenue between Union and Powell streets, and Union Street between Powell Street and Columbus Avenue.
  • Construction hours: Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Transit impacts: The bus stops on Columbus Avenue at Union Street will be temporarily closed one at a time.
  • Traffic: No more than one lane of traffic will be closed at a time, and all lanes will be opened at the end of each work day.
  • Street sweeping will occur daily on work days.
  • Parking restrictions will be in effect.
  • A traffic control officer and flagger will facilitate the flow of traffic during construction hours.
  • Dust will be monitored and controlled, noise will be kept within required decibel levels, and noise attenuation devices will be used on construction equipment.

More information about is available in the following documents:

We appreciate your continued patience while construction is in progress.

Categories: Press Releases

Traffic on Stockton Street and Grant Avenue to Be Modified to Accommodate Central Subway Construction Near Union Square

Press Releases - Wed, 07/25/2012 - 14:45

New Central Subway construction is beginning soon around Union Square.

Beginning Monday, July 30, Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets will be closed to all vehicles except emergency vehicles to accommodate construction of the Central Subway tunnel and Union Square/Market Street Station. To facilitate local access to Union Square, Grant Avenue between Geary and Sutter streets will be converted into a two-way street starting Saturday, July 28.

The partial closure of Stockton Street will remain in effect throughout the duration of Central Subway construction except during the annual holiday construction moratorium. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, no Central Subway construction will occur around Union Square, and Stockton Street will be reopened to traffic. Grant Avenue between Geary and Sutter streets will remain a two-way street during the holiday moratorium.

Variable message signs and detour signs will be in place to direct traffic to the detour routes shown on the map below.

This map shows two suggested traffic reroutes: local access to Union Square via Grant Avenue and a detour around Stockton Street for travel to SoMa and I-80.

In addition to the traffic modifications on Stockton Street and Grant Avenue, Ellis Street between Stockton Street and the Ellis Garage will be closed to westbound traffic. One lane will remain open to eastbound traffic. Vehicles exiting the garage will be able to turn left or right onto Ellis Street.

Tunnel preparatory construction, including ground-stabilization work, called jet grouting, and installation of below-ground walls, called headwalls, will begin on and around Stockton Street after the traffic modifications go into effect. Construction of the Union Square/Market Street Station is slated to begin early next year.

More information is available in the following documents:

Categories: Press Releases

SFMTA to re-route southbound 8X/8AX/8BX Bayshore Express and 91 Owl bus lines around Central Subway construction

Press Releases - Tue, 07/03/2012 - 17:21

To accommodate Central Subway construction, the Muni 8X Bayshore Express bus line will be re-routed in July. 

Starting Wednesday, July 11, the southbound 8X/8AX/8BX Bayshore Express and 91 Owl Muni bus lines will be re-routed to accommodate Central Subway construction in Union Square and SoMa. The re-routes may remain in effect throughout the duration of the Central Subway Project. Northbound service on these routes will remain unchanged.

The routes, which currently travel south on Stockton and 4th streets, will instead follow Mason and 5th streets through Union Square and SoMa. The modified routes will travel around construction activity, including tunnel preparation work and station construction, as the project progresses in these areas.

Ambassadors will be in the field from July 11 to July 15 to help Muni customers navigate the route changes. For more about the upcoming re-routes, including information in Chinese and Spanish, download the SFMTA’s re-route brochure and check out this press release from the SFMTA.

The map below shows the new routes of the southbound 8X/8AX/8BX Bayshore Express and the 91 Owl:

Earlier this year, the SFMTA re-routed the 30 Stockton and 45 Union/Stockton bus lines around Central Subway construction. These re-routes will remain in effect.

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California Transportation Commission unanimously approves commitment of state bond funds for Central Subway

Press Releases - Wed, 06/27/2012 - 16:24

The Central Subway will tie directly into the proposed future high-speed rail service at the 4th and King street Caltrain station. (Photo credit: Bill Lim, Flickr)

Today at their meeting in Ontario, Calif., the California Transportation Commission unanimously approved a commitment of $61.3 million in state high-speed rail connectivity funds to the Central Subway Project, reaffirming the Central Subway’s key role in enhancing California’s regional transportation network.

The Central Subway, which will extend the Muni Metro T Third Line from the Caltrain station at 4th and King streets through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown, will offer direct and proximate access to the proposed blended high-speed rail system at 4th and King streets. The Central Subway ties directly into the future high-speed rail service at 4th and King station, and it will also be just three blocks from the Transbay Transit Center, the planned terminus for high-speed rail. When the Central Subway is completed, it will provide significant light rail connectivity for high-speed rail and Transbay Transit Center patrons, enabling travel throughout San Francisco.

We thank our state funding partners for their consistent and strong support as we work to improve San Francisco’s public transportation system and enhance our regional transit network,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “By providing a convenient transfer to California’s high-speed rail service, the Central Subway will be a key component in improving mobility, reducing emissions and better connecting our city.

The connectivity funding comes from the state High Speed Rail Train Bond Program, approved by voters as Proposition 1A in 2008. The program will invest $950 million in capital improvements to eligible rail lines around the state.

For more on today’s California Transportation Commission vote, check out this press release from the SFMTA.

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Preparing for the Central Subway Tunnel: Major Work Commencing Next Week

Press Releases - Thu, 06/07/2012 - 14:36


Pouring concrete - launch box guide walls - June 2012

At the site of the tunnel launch box, crews are constructing shallow, below-ground walls to prepare for the major upcoming excavation.

Next year, a pair of tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will begin excavating the Central Subway tunnel, building the backbone of Muni’s extension of the T Third Line through vibrant and bustling SoMa, downtown, Union Square and Chinatown. Next week, major work to prepare for tunneling is ramping up in SoMa, with additional tunnel-preparation work planned to begin this year at new sites along the project alignment.

This new stage of construction will be the first to build permanent elements of the Central Subway, kicking off the next phase of progress on this critical transit upgrade.

The work, to be carried out by tunneling contractor Barnard Impregilo Healy Joint Venture, involves excavating the site where tunneling will begin, stabilizing the ground at key points along the project alignment and relocating utilities at the tunnel’s end point.

This blog post provides an overview of the tunnel-related work slated to take place in 2012. Future posts will contain additional details about what to expect at specific construction sites, including work timelines, construction impacts and descriptions of construction techniques.

A variety of measures, including street sweeping, noise monitoring and traffic controls, will be employed to reduce construction impacts. Access to local businesses, residences and driveways will be maintained throughout construction. However, traffic, transit, parking and pedestrian walkways will be impacted, and travelers through these areas can expect an increase in noise, dust and truck traffic while work is in progress.

2012_construction_outlook_map_Page_1

This map provides an overview of the construction to prepare for tunneling that will occur in 2012. A PDF of the map can be downloaded here.

Central Subway Tunnel: 2012 Construction Overview

The following work is planned to occur this year to prepare for tunneling in 2013:

  • Launch Box: Next week, the tunneling contractor will begin excavating and constructing a launch box at the site where tunneling will begin. The launch box will be built on 4th Street between Bryant and Harrison streets, beneath the I-80 overpass. At nearly 500 feet long, 50 feet wide and up to 40 feet deep, this major excavation will take up most of the block. Next year the TBMs will start digging the Central Subway tunnels from the launch box, traveling north under 4th Street and then Stockton Street.
  • Headwalls: The contractor will install below-ground walls, called headwalls, at subway station sites in SoMa and Union Square. Headwall installation will take place on 4th Street between Folsom and Howard streets and on Stockton Street between Market and Post streets.
  • Grouting: Ground stabilization work, known as jet grouting or compensation grouting, will occur along the project alignment in SoMa and Union Square. This work involves drilling shafts into the ground, monitoring ground conditions and, if necessary, injecting a mud-like substance that acts as a stabilizer.
  • Utility Relocation: The Central Subway tunnel will extend past the end of the line in Chinatown to North Beach, paving the way for a potential future extension of the line. Utility relocation in North Beach this year will prepare for excavation of the site where the TBMs will be removed from the ground. Ongoing communications and outreach are underway to determine a schedule for this work.
Find Out More

The Central Subway team will continue to work closely with communities, local businesses and organizations to inform them of construction impacts and to ensure appropriate mitigation measures are in place. As work commences at new locations along the alignment, additional information on local impacts will be made available here, on Facebook, on Twitter, on our project Google Map and in media alerts. To schedule a briefing on tunnel-related construction for your community group or organization, please contact Brajah Norris at 415-701-5263 or email our team at central.subway@sfmta.com.

More information about the Central Subway tunnel and the tunnel-related work slated for 2012 is available in the following documents:

We appreciate your continued patience while construction is in progress.

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$48.4 million in state funds awarded to Central Subway Project

Press Releases - Mon, 06/04/2012 - 13:03

Stockton Street (Flickr photo by geekstinkbreath)

The Central Subway will vastly improve travel along crowded Stockton Street. (Photo by Flickr photographer Frank Chan.)

The Central Subway Project has received $48.4 million in funding from a state transit-investment program, allowing for continued progress on extending the T Third Line through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown.

The funds come from the state Public Transportation Modernization, Improvement, and Service Enhancement Account (PTMISEA) Program, which funds a variety of transit-related improvements, including capital projects. In total, California has committed to invest about $307.8 million in PTMISEA funds to construct the Central Subway.

In a press release from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin reaffirmed the Central Subway’s benefits for San Francisco’s transit system: “The Central Subway will cut peak-period travel times in half compared to current transit options, easing travel through the busy 4th Street and Stockton Street corridors,” Reiskin said. “Our partners in Sacramento have consistently recognized that these projects are key to improving transportation in San Francisco now and for future generations.”

For more information about this exciting funding news, check out this press release from the SFMTA.

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Board of Supervisors, SFMTA Board unanimously approve key resolutions to advance Central Subway Project

Press Releases - Tue, 05/01/2012 - 17:07

BOS discussing assurance funding

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed five resolutions to advance the Central Subway Project.

Today the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors unanimously passed several resolutions to move the Central Subway Project forward.

Both boards passed resolutions approving a contingency funding plan that would allow the Central Subway to advance on schedule even if state bond funds associated with the California high-speed rail project are delayed. In the event of a delay in these state funds, the SFMTA could issue local revenue bonds.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA), which is expected to provide nearly $1 billion in funding to the Central Subway Project through its New Starts program, requested this additional assurance as part of its stringent review process. A delay in bond issuance on the state level could impact Central Subway Project financing, and the FTA requires assurance that a contingent funding plan is in place.

At both board meetings, local business leaders, community members and transit advocates testified in support of the project and the bond assurance measure, saying the Central Subway will create jobs, connect communities and improve public transportation for San Franciscans. Speaking in favor of the project were representatives of the Yerba Buena Community Benefit District, the Union Square Business Improvement District, the San Francisco Planning + Urban Research Association (SPUR), Renew SF, the Chinatown Transportation Research and Improvement Project and several local unions, as well as prominent local leaders and members of the Central Subway Community Advisory Group.

Michael Yaki testifying

Former San Francsico supervisor Michael Yaki spoke in support of the bond assurance resolution before the Board of Supervisors.

The Board of Supervisors also passed four resolutions approving the acquisition of temporary construction licenses. The licenses will allow work related to the Central Subway tunnel to commence around Union Square. Work to prepare the project alignment for tunneling is on track to begin this summer in this area.

More information about today’s board actions is available in this press release from the SFMTA.

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Now out for bid: The Union Square/Market Street Station contract

Press Releases - Thu, 04/19/2012 - 12:50


UMS - Entrance 2

The Union Square/Market Street Station will connect residents and visitors to the heart of Union Square and downtown.

The contract to construct the Central Subway Union Square/Market Street Station has gone out for bid, marking the latest advance in this major improvement to San Francisco’s public transportation system.

The centrally located station will connect residents and visitors to San Francisco’s vibrant Union Square and downtown, home to the city’s highest concentration of jobs and an outstanding array of hotels, entertainment venues and restaurants.

The Central Subway and the Union Square/Market Street Station will significantly speed up travel through this busy area and improve connections to local and regional transit options – all while enhancing the aesthetic of this world-renowned destination:

  • The station, a subway station, will have entrances in Union Square Plaza and at the corner of Market and Stockton streets.
  • The station will connect directly to the existing Powell Street Station via an underground concourse-to-concourse walkway, allowing for easy transfers to BART and the other Muni Metro lines.
  • The station’s main entrance, to be located at the corner of Stockton and Geary streets, will complement and enrich Union Square Plaza by blending into the existing landscape and emulating the aesthetic of the plaza. Two major art installations will adorn the interior of the station.

Bids on the estimated $210 million contract are due July 11. A pre-bid conference will be held May 16 at the Main Branch of the San Francisco Public Library.

More information about the Union Square/Market Street Station is available in our station fact sheet and in this press release from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

Parties interested in this contract should e-mail Bernie Ancheta (bernie.ancheta@SFMTA.com) or call 415-701-4278. Please visit SFGOV.org to access the advertised bid document.

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Mayor Lee, local leaders unveil decorative wrap at Chinatown Station site

Press Releases - Fri, 03/16/2012 - 16:22

Mayor Lee Discussing Central Subway

Mayor Lee spoke about the benefits of the Central Subway today at a press conference in Chinatown.

The Central Subway will improve public transportation in San Francisco, create thousands of jobs and enhance the quality of life of residents and visitors alike. That’s what Mayor Edwin M. Lee and other local leaders and community members said at a press conference today at the site of the future Chinatown Station, hailing the Central Subway as an essential and much-needed investment in the city’s infrastructure and economic future.

“Once the Central Subway is built, this new light-rail extension will be an engine for job creation and economic growth in our city, connecting our vital neighborhoods and diverse communities,” said Mayor Lee. “This important investment in our city’s infrastructure will improve transportation options, reduce emissions and enhance the quality of life of residents and visitors.”

Mayor Lee, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) Board of Directors Chairman Tom Nolan, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu and others gathered to unveil a decorative vinyl wrap installed at the site of the future Chinatown Station. The wrap, which features renderings of the station design, a mural provided by the Chinese Historical Society of America and artwork by students from the Chinatown YMCA, will protect and enhance the appearance of the now-vacant building at 933 to 949 Stockton Street until it is demolished later this year.

The building has been acquired by the SFMTA, and, with SFMTA assistance, all residential and commercial tenants have successfully relocated.

Building-with-Wrap
933-949 Stockton - Before Wrap Installation
Top: 933-949 Stockton Street with the artistic wrap. Bottom: The building before the wrap was installed.

The station, a subway station to be constructed at the southwest corner of Stockton and Washington streets, will feature an open, contemporary aesthetic that emphasizes transparency and simplicity. Light-colored and reflective surfaces will maximize lighting efficiency and create a bright, welcoming atmosphere even when customers are below ground. Artwork selected through the San Francisco Arts Commission’s Public Art Program will adorn the station and provide insight into local culture and history.

CTS Renderings - Collage for Blog
These renderings depict the design of the Central Subway Chinatown Station.

The Central Subway Project has achieved major milestones in recent months, and more progress is on the horizon this year:

  • The contract for the Chinatown Station has been advertised. Bids on the estimated $235 million contract are due May 8.
  • Contracts for the other three Central Subway stations are on track for advertisement this spring and summer.
  • Work to prepare the project alignment for the construction of a 1.6-mile tunnel is on track to commence this spring.
  • In his budget proposal for fiscal year 2013, President Obama included a recommendation for $150 million in funding for the Central Subway Project.
  • For the fifth consecutive year, the project received a strong positive rating from the Federal Transit Administration in its annual New Starts review. This indicates that a Full Funding Grant Agreement for nearly $1 billion in New Starts funding may be forthcoming.

To find out more about the Chinatown Station and recent progress on the Central Subway Project, check out this press release (PDF) from Mayor Lee’s office.

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