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SFMTA’s Central Subway will connect San Francisco’s southeast neighborhoods to downtown and Chinatown. Whether you’re a concerned citizen, business owner, Muni customer, or just stumbled onto our blog, we welcome your questions and encourage you to connect with us. Follow us for the latest Central Subway news and information.

09 January 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Attention SBE firms: Meet the potential prime contractors for the stations, track and systems contract

A recent prime/sub-contractor meet-and-greet event for the Central Subway stations, track and systems contract.

The SFMTA invites all interested Small Business Enterprises (SBEs), Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) and Local Business Enterprises (LBEs) to participate in a series of small business opportunity meetings with the potential prime contractors for the contract to construct the Central Subway stations, track and systems (Contract CN-1300). Each potential prime contractor will be holding a meeting to inform interested SBE firms of their bid preparation procedures, present potential opportunities for SBE firms and provide an opportunity to interact with representatives from the potential prime contractor teams.

A schedule of meetings can be viewed in this flier (PDF). The meetings will be held at the SFMTA headquarters at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, in the Candlestick/Corona Heights conference rooms on the 6th floor.

In addition, the SFMTA is providing technical assistance to small, disadvantaged and local businesses in preparation for the procurement of this major contract. More information, including office hours and a summary of available services, is available here (PDF).

28 December 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Introducing weekly Central Subway construction update emails

Today we are excited to announce the debut of our Central Subway construction update emails. These emails will provide information about Central Subway construction along the project alignment in SoMa, Union Square, Chinatown and North Beach.

Starting today, we will email these updates weekly on Fridays to provide an overview of the Central Subway construction that is planned to occur in the next 10 days. To subscribe to the emails, please fill out this online form. If you prefer to view the weekly updates online, we will post links to them here, on Facebook and on Twitter.

The emails will include information about ongoing and upcoming construction; traffic, transit and pedestrian impacts; community meetings and more.

Below is a preview of this week’s debut construction update email. You can view the full version online here.


This rebar cage was installed to form a subsurface wall on 4th Street between Howard and Folsom streets.

Construction Update

Dec. 29, 2012- Jan. 7, 2013

During the next 10 days, construction to prepare for tunneling will continue in SoMa and recommence in Union Square. No Central Subway construction is planned to occur in North Beach or Chinatown.

On New Year’s Day, no Central Subway construction is planned.

For descriptions of construction impacts in each neighborhood, click on the links below. We also post construction, traffic detour and Muni impact information on our project Google Map.

Construction impacts are planned to change at these locations by January 7:

At these locations, current construction impacts are planned to continue until January 7:

We appreciate your patience and support while we build this essential upgrade to San Francisco’s public transportation system.

28 December 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Central Subway construction to resume around Union Square on January 2

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.

20 December 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Check it out: Our fall 2012 project newsletter

SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin speaks at a ceremony announcing federal funding for the Central Subway Project.

Hot off the presses: It’s the fall 2012 edition of the Central Subway newsletter. Download it in English or Chinese to read about the latest project news and to gain insight into construction progress, funding milestones and more.

In addition to the print version, this quarter we are debuting an online-only edition of our newsletter. You can view our first-ever e-newsletter online here.

To subscribe to receive the e-newsletter via email, fill out this form and check the “Quarterly Project Newsletter” box. You can also subscribe to our weekly construction updates (coming soon!) and to receive neighborhood-specific project information.

This edition of the quarterly project newsletter features:

  • A project update from SFMTA Director of Transportation Edward D. Reiskin
  • The recent approval of federal funding for the Central Subway Project
  • A major contract that was advertised for bid in October
  • And more…

Thank you for your continued interest in the Central Subway Project.

07 December 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Construction update: Subsurface wall construction underway at new SoMa location; construction paused in Union Square, North Beach

The tunneling contractor has begun installing below-ground walls to prepare for tunneling at this site on 4th Street between Howard and Folsom streets.

Since our last update, construction in Union Square and North Beach has paused for the holiday season, while work at two sites in SoMa has continued to move forward. In addition, work to install subsurface monitoring equipment has commenced in Chinatown.

Here’s what you can expect in the next three weeks as construction continues in SoMa and Chinatown:

  • Tunnel Launch Box (4th Street between Harrison and Bryant streets): The contractor will install beams across the below-ground walls that have been constructed around the perimeter of this site. Excavation and construction of an access ramp is also planned to begin. To facilitate construction, this block of 4th Street will remain closed to all vehicle traffic. The on-ramp to westbound I-80 at 4th and Harrison streets may be closed on weeknights from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday. The sidewalk on the east side of the block will remain open to pedestrians. Traffic and pedestrian controls are in place. For more information on current construction impacts at this site, please check out this construction notice.
  • Yerba Buena/Moscone Station Tunnel Pre-Construction (4th Street between Howard and Folsom streets): The tunneling contractor has commenced installation of below-ground walls, called headwalls, at the site of the future Yerba Buena/Moscone Station. The walls will cross 4th Street at two points on this block. At least two lanes of traffic on 4th Street will remain open at most times; however, the block may be reduced to one lane for one night to facilitate work involving large cranes. The contractor will continue working on the western side of the block, with at least two lanes open on the east side of the street (left lanes for southbound traffic). Pedestrian controls will be in place during periods of sidewalk impact.
  • Chinatown Subsurface Instrument Installation (Stockton Street between Sacramento Street and Broadway): Crews will continue installing subsurface instruments that will measure ground conditions related to the Central Subway tunnel. One lane of traffic on up to two approximately half-block sections of Stockton Street may be closed at a time during construction hours. Construction hours are Monday to Friday, 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. More information is available in this construction notice.

We also post construction, auto detour and Muni impact information on our project Google Map.

We appreciate your continued patience while construction is in progress.

26 November 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Photos: Union Square, North Beach construction sites restored for holiday season

Last week Central Subway crews restored portions of Stockton Street and Ellis Street in Union Square and Columbus Avenue in North Beach to prepare for a holiday season construction pause. On these blocks, roadways and pedestrian walkways were returned to their regular use in time for Thanksgiving.

Check out these photos of restoration in progress last week:

Stockton Street between Ellis and O’Farrell streets was paved and restriped last week.

Central Subway crews will continue building below-ground walls, called headwalls, at this location on Stockton Street early next year.

In North Beach, this lane was paved, and traffic has returned to normal on Columbus Avenue between Union and Powell streets.

During the holiday season, buses will stop as regularly scheduled at this bus stop, on Columbus Avenue at Union Street.

Construction will continue on this block of 4th Street (between Howard and Folsom streets). Last week crews restored the lanes shown here to prepare to begin work on the other side of the street.

For more information about Central Subway construction during the holiday season, check out this recent blog post.

20 November 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Central Subway Project awarded $85 million in New Starts funds

When the Central Subway is complete, T Third Line trains will continue straight at the intersection of 4th and King streets instead of turning right onto King Street.

The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded $85 million in federal funding to the Central Subway Project. The funding, from the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program, was awarded following approval last month of the Central Subway’s Full Funding Grant Agreement, the formal commitment of federal funding through New Starts.

“Today, San Franciscans sick of suffering the overcrowded 30 Stockton have something to celebrate,” said Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in a statement last week. “Thanks to the signing of the recent Full Funding Grant Agreement, we can applaud $85 million in funding for the Central Subway – creating jobs, expanding public transit and bringing our city closer together.”

The funds were included in the federal Transportation Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2012. In total, New Starts will provide $942.2 million to extend the Muni Metro T Third Line through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown.

19 November 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Construction Update: Central Subway construction during the holiday season

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.

09 November 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Construction update: New traffic configuration starting in North Beach, full closure of 4th Street implemented under I-80 overpass

Construction at the site where tunneling will begin next year.

Along the Central Subway Project alignment, tunnel pre-construction has continued to progress at the four active construction sites. Since our last update, crews have completed construction of a sewer manhole and a sewer line in North Beach, and a portion of 4th Street has closed to facilitate construction of a major excavation known as a launch box at the site where tunneling will begin next year.

This construction update covers construction that will be underway from Saturday, November 10, until Wednesday, November 21. We will post an additional update soon with information about construction during the holiday season.

In the next week and a half, work will continue at the four active Central Subway construction sites, with traffic impacts planned to change at the following location:

  • North Beach Utility Relocation (Columbus Avenue between Union and Filbert streets): The contractor plans to begin work on the western (southbound) side of Columbus Avenue on Tuesday, November 13. The right lane for southbound traffic will be closed during construction hours (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). To facilitate construction, the southbound bus stop on Columbus Avenue at Union Street will be closed during construction hours. The nearest alternate bus stop for the 30 Stockton is on Columbus Avenue at Filbert Street. The nearest alternate stop for the 8X/8BX Bayshore Express is on Powell Street at Filbert Street. ***Update November 13: In North Beach, the contractor will no longer begin work on the western side of Columbus Avenue today. Work will continue on the eastern side of the street and in the median. The left lane for northbound traffic and the northbound bus stop on Columbus Avenue at Union Street will remain closed during construction hours. Both southbound lanes of traffic and the southbound bus stop on Columbus Avenue at Union Street will remain open.***

Construction at the site in SoMa where tunneling will begin next year.

Here’s what to expect in the next week and a half as tunnel pre-construction continues in SoMa, Union Square and North Beach:

  • Tunnel Launch Box (4th Street between Bryant and Harrison streets): The contractor will continue constructing below-ground walls around the perimeter of this major excavation site. In addition, at the southern end of the block, crews are building a structure that will support the decking that will eventually cover the launch box, allowing traffic to travel over the excavation. To facilitate construction, this block of 4th Street is closed to all vehicle traffic. The on-ramp to westbound I-80 may be closed on weeknights from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday. The sidewalk on the east side of the block remains open to pedestrians, and traffic and pedestrian controls are in place. For more information on construction impacts near this site, please check out this construction notice.
  • Yerba Buena/Moscone Station Tunnel Pre-Construction (4th Street between Folsom and Howard streets):  The tunneling contractor will continue preparing to install below-ground walls, called headwalls, at the site of the future Yerba Buena/Moscone Station. The walls will cross 4th Street at two points on this block. At least two lanes of traffic on 4th Street will remain open at all times. The contractor plans to remain on the eastern side of the street until November 21, with two lanes on the west side of the street (right lanes for southbound traffic) open.
  • Union Square Tunnel Pre-Construction (Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets and Ellis Street between Stockton and Powell streets): The contractor will continue preparing to construct below-ground walls at the future site of the Union Square/Market Street Station. Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets will remain closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles. Ellis Street between Powell and Stockton streets will remain closed to westbound traffic. Sidewalks in the area will remain open to pedestrians. For more information about the traffic modifications now in effect in the Union Square area, check out this blog post.
  • North Beach Utility Relocation (Columbus Avenue between Union and Powell streets): The contractor will continue with utility relocation. On Monday, November 12, the left lane for northbound traffic will be closed during construction hours. Starting Tuesday, November 13, the work area will shift to the southbound side of the street. The right lane for southbound traffic will be closed during construction hours (Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.).  To facilitate construction, the southbound bus stop on Columbus Avenue at Union Street will be closed during construction hours. Signage will be in place directing Muni customers to the closest alternate bus stops. For more information on construction in North Beach, check out this blog post. ***Update November 13: In North Beach, the contractor will no longer begin work on the western side of Columbus Avenue today. Work will continue on the eastern side of the street and in the median. The left lane for northbound traffic and the northbound bus stop on Columbus Avenue at Union Street will remain closed during construction hours. Both southbound lanes of traffic and the southbound bus stop on Columbus Avenue at Union Street will remain open.***

We also post construction, auto detour and Muni impact information on our project Google Map.

We appreciate your continued patience while construction is in progress.

23 October 2012 ~ 5 Comments

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

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.