This time lapse video — our first ever — shows the first steps of installing and assembling tunnel boring machine Mom Chung.
For the past few weeks, Central Subway crews have worked day and night to install and assemble our first tunnel boring machine, Mom Chung, underground beneath 4th Street.
We’ve documented the process on three time lapse cameras installed at this major construction site. The cameras took photos every two minutes, and we compiled and edited the images to create the video above.
In it, you’ll see our crews construct a specialized crane, called a gantry crane, over 4th Street to prepare for Mom Chung’s arrival. Then hundreds of tons of massive Mom Chung are lowered underground and assembled by Central Subway workers. The segments seen here make up Mom Chung’s shield (the part that builds the tunnel) and cutter head (the part that excavates). At the end of the video, we install an auger screw, which is used to transport dirt and spoils through the front of the TBM and onto a series of conveyors.
We’ll post more time lapse videos soon, including one of the entire TBM assembly process, as we continue to document construction of this essential improvement to San Francisco’s public transportation system.
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee takes a look at tunnel boring machine Mom Chung in the excavation under 4th Street where tunneling will begin.
Yesterday, Mayor Edwin M. Lee paid a visit to the construction site where tunneling will begin and saw Mom Chung, the 350-foot-long tunnel boring machine currently being assembled underground.
Speaking to reporters in front of the digging cutter head of Mom Chung, Mayor Lee said he was excited about the Central Subway, calling the T Third Line extension “one of the most important projects for the future of San Francisco.”
SFMTA Board Chairman Tom Nolan, SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin, Central Subway Program Director John Funghi, key city officials and members of Central Subway team accompanied Mayor Lee under 4th Street to show him the major excavation where tunneling will begin. Check out the photos below for more on the Mayor’s visit to this important construction site.
The tour group heads down the ramp near 4th and Bryant and into the excavation beneath the roadway.
The tour group makes its way through the excavation and toward Mom Chung. From left to right: Director Reiskin, Mayor Lee, John Funghi, tunnel contract Resident Engineer Sarah Wilson.
Sarah Wilson, the engineer overseeing construction of the Central Subway tunnels, explains the details of the tunneling process to Mayor Lee. From left to right: SFPUC Assistant General Manager Emilio Cruz, SFPUC General Manager Harlan Kelly, Jr., Mayor Lee, the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Steve Kawa, John Funghi, Sarah Wilson.
Mayor Lee responds to questions from reporters. From left to right: Director Reiskin, Chairman Nolan, Mayor Lee, John Funghi, SFMTA Board Vice Chairman Cheryl Brinkman, Sarah Wilson.
The tour group gathers around the front of Mom Chung. Called the cutter head, this spinning excavator will dig through the earth under 4th Street, Stockton Street and Columbus Avenue.
Representatives of tunnel construction contractor Barnard Impregilo Healy meet Mayor Lee and Director Reiskin. From left to right: Assistant Project Superintendent Andy Granger, Mayor Lee, Project Manager Ben Campbell, Director Reiskin.
Read more about the Mayor’s visit in today’s San Francisco Chronicle. Tunneling is slated to begin in June.
This 123-ton ring was the first part of tunnel boring machine Mom Chung to be installed underground. Installation began late Friday night and continued through Saturday morning.
Mom Chung has arrived — all 750 tons of her — and soon she’ll start building San Francisco’s newest subway tunnel, the first constructed in the city since the 1970s.
Mom Chung is one of two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) built specially for the Central Subway Project. The massive machines consist 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). Starting a few weeks from now, Mom Chung will excavate and construct the tunnel for southbound trains, digging at a rate of about 40 feet per day far beneath the surface of the city. Her twin sister, Big Alma, will begin building the tunnel for northbound trains about two months later.
On Friday, crews worked through the night to lower the first part of Mom Chung into the major excavation beneath 4th Street where tunneling will begin. The part, one of three rings that make up the shield, is 20 feet in diameter and weighs about 123 tons. Of the 750-ton TBM, this was the heaviest part, and one of the most complicated to install.
Crews will assemble Mom Chung underground over the next four to six weeks. She will then begin tunneling in June, traveling north under 4th Street and Stockton Street through SoMa, Union Square, Chinatown and North Beach. Once she starts tunneling, you won’t hear, see or feel her — she’ll be too far underground and will pass below without a trace above ground.
The photos below show the installation of the first part of Mom Chung both above and beneath 4th Street, from the middle of Friday night until well past sunrise Saturday.
If you would like to see Mom Chung in person, stop by our staging area on Bryant Street at 5th Street. Trucks will deliver pieces of her during the next few weeks. We’ll store the parts on Bryant Street before installing them underground.
After picking the ring up, the gantry crane maneuvered it into position over the opening of the excavation. The excavation is called a launch box.
The ring was then lowered into the launch box.
Now halfway down, here’s a view of the ring from the ramp entering the launch box.
Crews look on as the 123-ton TBM segment descends underground.
The crane turned the TBM segment to rest it on a cradle. The other two shield segments and the rotating, excavating cutter head will soon join this first part.
This is the machinery of Mom Chung — a state-of-the-art assemblage of tunnel-building motors and wires.
For more information about Mom Chung, and to see photos of her before she was disassembled for transport to San Francisco, check out our project website.
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.
These renderings show the designs of the Central Subway’s three subway stations and one surface-level station.
Yesterday at the headquarters of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), bids were opened for the contract to construct the Central Subway’s stations, track and systems. The three bids for the contract, SFMTA Contract No. 1300, were submitted by the following firms:
The apparent lowest bidder is Tudor Perini with a bid of $840 million. Although the bids are higher than estimated, they fall within the project budget of $1.6 billion. We will work with our policy board and funding partners to move forward with this major contract.
This contract is the final construction contract for completing the Central Subway. After the contract is awarded, construction of the Central Subway’s stations, tracks and systems will commence in SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown.
We’ll keep you updated as the review process proceeds and a contractor is selected. You can view a PDF of the bids here. You may also download the full bid packages at the following links:
To view more design renderings of the Central Subway’s three subway stations and one surface-level station, check out our Flickr page.
The T Third Line, shown here at 4th and King streets, will travel underground through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown once the Central Subway is complete.
Last week we received great news from our funding partners in Washington, D.C. As part of the federal budget for the current fiscal year, the Central Subway was awarded about $142 million through the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program.
In total, the FTA has committed $942.2 million in New Starts funds to construct the Central Subway, which will extend the Muni Metro T Third Line through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown. The funds are awarded annually throughout the course of the project. Due to sequestration, this year’s award is about $8 million less than President Obama recommended; however, there is no change to the FTA’s total funding commitment.
For the upcoming fiscal year, President Obama’s budget, announced last Wednesday, recommends $150 million in New Starts funds for the project (see page 67 of this document).
Federal sources are providing about half of the funding for the entire Third Street Light Rail Transit Project, which includes the existing T Third Line and the Central Subway. The remaining half is from state and local sources. For more on funding for the Central Subway Project, visit our website.
We thank our federal funding partners for their continued support for the Central Subway, an essential upgrade to San Francisco’s public transportation system.
The Central Subway tunnels will end here, at the Pagoda Palace in North Beach, under a plan to relocate the retrieval site for the project’s tunnel boring machines.
In response to community concerns about Central Subway construction in North Beach, SFMTA staff and multiple city agencies have worked for the past few months to relocate the retrieval site of the project’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) from Columbus Avenue to the Pagoda Palace (1731-1741 Powell Street).
As we complete the administrative steps required to finalize the site change, we would like to clarify the details of the plan and respond to questions that have been raised about it. These FAQs, posted on our website, include information about the Pagoda Palace construction plan, construction impacts, the reasoning behind the change and the community’s involvement in the process.
In addition, we have prepared a memo for the SFMTA Board and our partner agencies that describes our construction plan, the lease terms for the Pagoda site, and our process in pursuing the change. You can read the memo online here.
Should you have any further questions about the Pagoda Palace plan, don’t hesitate to contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 415-701-4371. Thank you for your continued participation as we work to improve public transit in San Francisco.
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.
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.”
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.”
The Central Subway tunnels would end here, at the Pagoda Palace in North Beach, under a plan to relocate the retrieval site for the project’s tunnel boring machines.
The Board of Supervisors today voted unanimously to pass a key component of the plan to relocate the retrieval site for the Central Subway’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to the Pagoda Palace. The Board’s vote authorizes a Special Use District that will allow the owner to move forward with a previously approved development project after the building is demolished and the TBMs are extracted. You can view a press release about the vote online here.
The Pagoda Palace is the preferred location to remove the TBMs. As a result of community objections to the original plan, which involved removing the TBMs on Columbus Avenue, the SFMTA initiated a review of alternatives. Removing the TBMs at the site of the Pagoda Palace, a building that has been vacant for nearly 20 years, minimizes local construction impacts and leaves no physical impediments to a potential extension of the T Third Line to North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf.
The retrieval site change will also require National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) clearance by the Federal Transit Administration. If all of the necessary legislative processes and approvals occur by early April, then the demolition of the Pagoda Palace site can commence.
We will continue to update the community as the retrieval site change moves forward. Thank you for your participation in this process.
Today at City Hall the Board of Supervisors voted on a key component of the plan to relocate the retrieval site for the Central Subway’s tunneling machines. (Photo courtesy Flickr user Alaskan Dude.)
Today the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to support a key component of the plan to relocate the retrieval site for the Central Subway’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) to the Pagoda Palace in North Beach. The item, an ordinance to create a Special Use District (SUD) for the Powell Street property, would allow the owner to move forward with a previously approved development project after the building is demolished and the TBMs extracted. A second and final vote to approve the ordinance is expected at next week’s Board of Supervisors meeting.
To relocate the retrieval site from Columbus Avenue, the SFMTA has signed a lease with the owner of the Pagoda Palace property. The two-year lease will allow the agency to demolish the building and extract the TBMs. The state-of-the-art tunneling machines are expected to reach North Beach in 2014.
The relocation plan is undergoing review by the Federal Transit Administration for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). If all of the necessary approvals occur by April 1, then the demolition of the Pagoda Palace building can then commence.
We will continue to keep the community informed as we work to respond to concerns about the original retrieval plan. Thank you for your continued participation as we work to finalize the retrieval site change.
The Central Subway tunnels would end here, at the Pagoda Palace in North Beach, under a plan to relocate the retrieval site for the project’s tunnel boring machines.
Today the Board of Supervisors Land Use Committee voted 3-0 to recommend approval of a Special Use District (SUD) for the Pagoda Palace (1731-1741 Powell Street). The SUD, a key component of the plan to relocate the retrieval site for the Central Subway’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) from Columbus Avenue, 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.
Tomorrow the full Board of Supervisors will consider the SUD. This meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at City Hall, Room 250.
Under the retrieval site relocation plan, the Pagoda Palace will be demolished this spring. Central Subway crews will then prepare the site for arrival of the TBMs. The state-of-the-art tunneling machines are expected to reach North Beach in 2014.
We will continue to keep the community informed as we work to respond to concerns about the original retrieval plan. Thank you for your continued participation and patience.
Inside the Pagoda Palace, a former theater that will be demolished under a plan to relocate the retrieval site for the machines that will build the Central Subway tunnels.
Today the SFMTA Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve key components of the plan to relocate the retrieval site of the Central Subway’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) from Columbus Avenue to the Pagoda Palace (1731-1741 Powell Street). The Board’s vote authorizes a two-year lease to utilize the Pagoda property. It also allows for the increased construction costs associated with the site change, including demolishing the existing structure and extending the Central Subway tunnels past the original site on Columbus Avenue.
The two-year lease, capped at $3.15 million, including $800,000 in rent and up to $2.35 million in ancillary fees, allows the SFMTA to demolish the existing structure and utilize the property to retrieve the TBMs. Total costs to the SFMTA, including the lease, demolition of the building and extraction of the TBMs, will not exceed $9.15 million. Additional details about the lease are available in this press release from the SFMTA.
Next week, the Board of Supervisors will consider a Special Use District (SUD) for the Pagoda Palace site. The SUD 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.
Members of the public may comment on the SUD at the Land Use Committee meeting.
We thank the community, Mayor Lee, Supervisor David Chiu, numerous city agencies, and the property owner for their support and cooperation throughout this process. We will continue to keep you informed as we work to finalize the retrieval site change.
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:
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.
Later this year construction of the Central Subway tunnels will begin on 4th Street beneath the I-80 overpass, within a major excavation known as a launch box. Excavation and construction of the launch box began last spring and is expected to continue through spring 2013. When it is complete, the launch box will reach a depth of about 50 feet and span almost the entire block between Harrison and Bryant streets. Tunnel boring machines will then excavate and construct the Central Subway tunnels, one for northbound trains and another for southbound trains.
The underground walls around the perimeter launch box have been completed. Now crews are excavating the launch box, and they recently completed construction of an access ramp.
Check out this video for a view beneath the roadway and to see the ongoing construction at the launch box site.
Vote now to help name the Central Subway’s tunnel boring machines after historic San Francisco women. From left to right: Lillie “Firebelle Lil” Hitchcock Coit, “Big Alma” de Bretteville Spreckels, Margaret “Mom” Chung, Juana Briones and Mary Ellen Pleasant.
Now’s your chance – help us choose the names of the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) that will build the Central Subway tunnels! The TBMs, scheduled to arrive in San Francisco in spring 2013, will be named after prominent historic San Francisco women, pioneers in civil rights, commerce, medicine and the arts who have helped shape the San Francisco of the past, just as the Central Subway will help form the San Francisco of the future.
In tunneling tradition, the custom of naming TBMs is believed to bring good luck to tunneling projects. We are excited to include the public in this fun and important tunneling tradition.
To cast your vote, please visit www.centralsubwaysf.com/tbm-name.
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.
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:
We wish you a happy holidays, and we thank you for your continued patience as construction progresses.
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:
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.
School kids, community members and the Central Subway team show their support for the T Third Line extension.
San Francisco needs the Central Subway, said the San Francisco Examiner’s editorial board in a column published this weekend.
With major federal funding for the project now approved, this essential public transit investment will “tie together some of the fastest-growing neighborhoods in San Francisco with the densest community on the West Coast” and “help The City more effectively handle the growth that is projected over the next few decades.” These important advantages, the Examiner argues, make the project “beneficial to all of The City and people who live and work here.”Read the full column here, at the Examiner’s website.
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.