06 August 2012 ~ 6 Comments

Utility relocation starting in North Beach on August 13

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 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.

Be Sociable, Share!

6 Responses to “Utility relocation starting in North Beach on August 13”

  1. NB 7 August 2012 at 4:53 pm Permalink

    Construction to destroy business in North Beach, for a Chinatown station.

  2. KC 14 August 2012 at 4:00 pm Permalink

    What is going to happen when the Federal funds are denied? It is said the Senate will not vote on this until after the election. If you look at the seats that are up for grabs the Republicans are leading and will take the Senate. Who is going to pay for this boondoogle?

  3. TC 19 August 2012 at 9:45 pm Permalink

    This “retrieval shaft” is a perfect spot for a North Beach station. Why is this not a part of the plan? Or,instead, how about a comprimise Chinatown/North Beach station at Stockton and Broadway? That would at least give the businesses that will be affected by construction some payoff at the end with better transit service. I agree with NB that this will hurt business. Just look at what’s happening around Stockton and Market: Traffic is terrible due to street closures, transit is rerouted away from the area, and good luck getting a cab during the day… they’re staying away from the madness. I was all for this project at first but there are too many errors in the plan like the lack of service to N. Beach and the two-block walk it will take to transfer to/from Powell St. Station. Insane!!!

    • Central Subway 23 August 2012 at 10:07 am Permalink

      Hi TC,

      The Central Subway Project was planned during a multi-year environmental review process that included input from community members, businesses, local leaders and organizations along the project alignment, including in North Beach. The final environmental documents, approved in 2008, provide environmental clearance to construct a station as far north as Jackson Street.

      Any further extension of the line beyond what is currently approved would be part of a separate Phase 3 extension of the T Third Line. The San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) is heading up efforts to organize a planning workshop this fall to begin community discussions about a potential Phase 3. If you’re interested in participating in the planning process for Phase 3, you can contact SPUR at 415-781-8726 or info@spur.org.

      The Central Subway Team

Leave a Reply