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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.

20 August 2012 ~ 4 Comments

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

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

***UPDATE AUGUST 27: The Apple Store entrance to the Powell Street Station will remain open past August 27. We will provide additional information soon.***

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.

17 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Construction Update: Tunnel preparation underway at four sites, Union Square utility relocation substantially complete

Tunnel pre-construction work is now underway on Ellis Street. The tall machine shown here on the right is used to perform ground stabilization work known as jet grouting.

Tunnel pre-construction has continued to ramp up in recent weeks as tunneling contractor Barnard Impregilo Healy mobilized at two new sites along the project alignment:

  • Around Union Square, work is underway on Stockton Street to prepare to construct below-ground walls, called headwalls, which will become permanent components of the future Union Square/Market Street Station. On Ellis Street, the contractor is performing ground stabilization work known as jet grouting. To facilitate construction, traffic modifications have gone into effect on Stockton Street, Ellis Street and Grant Avenue.
  • In North Beach, the contractor began relocating utility lines along Columbus Avenue between Union and Powell streets. This work will be underway for approximately four months, with additional construction on track to begin next year.

Also in Union Square, contractor Synergy Project Management has finished most major utility relocation work at the future site of the Union Square/Market Street Station. Sidewalks and streets in the area have been restored, and only cleanup, detail work and below-ground AT&T and PG&E work remain before this contract is completed.

The sidewalks and stores on Stockton Street are open to pedestrians and shoppers during Central Subway construction.

Here’s what to expect in the next three weeks 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. Current work hours here are 5 a.m. to 1 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. At least two lanes of traffic on 4th Street will remain open at all times.
  • Yerba Buena/Moscone Station Headwalls (4th Street between Folsom and Howard streets):  The tunneling contractor will 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. Current work hours at this site are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. At least two lanes of traffic on 4th Street will remain open at all times.
  • Union Square Tunneling Pre-Construction (Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets and Ellis Street between Stockton and Powell streets): The contractor is performing utility demolition, potholing and ground stabilization work called jet grouting. Installation of below-ground walls, called headwalls, will follow. Current construction hours at this site are Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the traffic modifications now in effect in the Union Square area, check out this recent blog post.
  • North Beach Utility Relocation (Columbus Avenue between Union and Powell streets): The contractor will continue with utility relocation. Construction hours are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. One lane of traffic will be closed at a time on one block of Union Street, Powell Street or Columbus Avenue during construction hours. For more information on construction in North Beach, check out this recent blog post.

A complete, current three-week construction schedule, including detailed, site-specific transit and traffic impacts, is available online for the tunnel contract. 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.

09 August 2012 ~ 0 Comments

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

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.

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.

27 July 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Construction Update: Tunnel contract work starts next week in Union Square area

Construction of a major excavation known as a launch box is underway on 4th Street between Bryant and Harrison streets. At nearly 500 feet long, 50 feet wide and up to 40 feet deep, the launch box will take up most of the block.

In the next three weeks, work to prepare for tunneling will continue to ramp up, with tunneling contractor Barnard Impregilo Healy Joint Venture beginning to construct below-ground walls, called headwalls, and perform ground-stabilization work, called jet grouting, around Union Square. In addition, utility relocation on a half-block section of Columbus Avenue may begin in North Beach.

To facilitate construction in the Union Square area, new traffic modifications are going into effect on Stockton Street, Ellis Street and Grant Avenue.

Here’s what to expect as tunnel preparation continues and Union Square utility relocation proceeds:

  • 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. Current work hours here are 7 a.m. to 4 a.m., Monday through Friday, and 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. At least two lanes of traffic on 4th Street will remain open at all times.
  • Yerba Buena/Moscone Station Headwalls (4th Street between Folsom and Howard streets):  The tunneling contractor is installing 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. Current work hours at this site are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. At least two lanes of traffic will remain open at all times.
  • Union Square Utility Relocation (on and around Stockton Street between Market and Post streets): Utility relocation at the site of the future Union Square/Market Street Station is nearing completion. Work is scheduled seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., although night work may be necessary.
  • Union Square Tunneling Preparation (Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets and Ellis Street between Stockton and Powell streets): Work begins July 30 on Stockton Street and in early August on Ellis Street. The contractor will begin by performing utility demolition and potholing. Ground stabilization work, called jet grouting, and installation of below-ground walls, called headwalls, will follow. For more information about the traffic modifications going into effect in the Union Square area, check out this recent blog post.

Complete, current three-week construction schedules are available online for Union Square utility relocation work and for the tunnel contract. We also post construction, auto detour and Muni impact information on our project Google Map.

Muni Service Impacts

Current Muni service impacts are described below. As construction begins at additional locations, additional Muni routes may be impacted.

  • The 30 Stockton and 45 Union/Stockton began re-routing in January around major construction sites in Union Square and SoMa. These re-routes will continue throughout the duration of Central Subway construction.
  • The 8X/8AX/8BX Bayshore Express and 91 Owl Muni bus lines began re-routing this month. These re-routes will continue throughout the duration of Central Subway construction.
  • The 38/38L Geary may experience delays around Union Square.

Traffic and Pedestrian Impacts

SoMa:

  • At both active construction sites, at least two lanes on 4th Street will be open to traffic at all times.
  • All I-80 on- and off-ramps will remain open during the day, but brief nighttime ramp closures may be required.
  • Traffic delays are anticipated. Motorists are encouraged to use the onramp at Harrison and 7th streets as an alternative to access westbound I-80 while launch box construction is in progress. Those traveling to the peninsula may prefer to access the I-280 via 6th Street or Highway 101 via 10th Street.
  • Access to Clementina Street between 4th and 5th streets may be restricted at times, but the contractor will facilitate access for deliveries.
  • Sidewalks may be impacted.
  • Electronic messaging boards will be in place and parking control officers and flaggers will monitor and facilitate the flow of traffic as appropriate.

Union Square:

  • Starting July 30, Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets will be closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles.
  • Starting July 28, Grant Avenue between Geary and Sutter streets will be converted into a two-way street.
  • 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.
  • Stockton Street will remain open to cross traffic at O’Farrell and Geary streets, but temporary lane closures near the intersections may be required.
  • Variable message signs and detour signs will be in place, and traffic control officers and flaggers will be on site to direct traffic as appropriate.
  • Sidewalks on Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets will remain open, but they may be narrowed to facilitate construction.
  • Temporary closures of the crosswalk that crosses Stockton Street on the south side of Geary Street may be required.

The suggested detour route around construction in SoMa and Union Square is shown on the map below. The map also shows a traffic reroute for local access to Union Square.

We appreciate your continued patience while construction is in progress.

25 July 2012 ~ 1 Comment

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

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:

09 July 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Construction Update: Muni to re-route bus lines around Central Subway construction

Temporary pavement restoration on Geary and Stockton streets

At the site where tunneling will begin next year, contractor Barnard Impregilo Healy Joint Venture is making progress in constructing below-ground walls around the perimeter of the tunnel launch box – a major excavation almost as big as a city block. At other points along the Central Subway alignment, Union Square utility relocation is progressing toward completion, and construction of below-ground walls at the future site of the Yerba Buena/Moscone Station is underway.

In the next three weeks, utility relocation on a half-block section of Columbus Avenue may begin in North Beach, and Muni’s re-routes of the 8X/8AX/8BX Bayshore Express and 91 Owl around Central Subway construction will take effect.

Here’s what to expect as tunnel preparation continues and Union Square utility relocation proceeds:

  • 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. Work hours at this site are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. At least two lanes of traffic will remain open at all times.
  • Yerba Buena/Moscone Station Headwalls (4th Street between Folsom and Howard streets):  The tunneling contractor is installing 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. To prepare to install the headwalls, utility relocation and guide wall construction will be underway. Work hours at this site are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday. At least two lanes of traffic will remain open at all times. For more information on traffic, pedestrian and Muni impacts at this site, check out this recent blog post.
  • Union Square Utility Relocation (on and around Stockton Street between Market and Post streets): With sidewalks being restored along Stockton Street and road restoration underway, utility relocation at the site of the future Union Square/Market Street Station is nearing completion. Work is scheduled seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., although night work may be necessary.

Complete, current three-week construction schedules are available online for Union Square utility relocation work and for the tunnel contract. We also post construction, auto detour and Muni impact information on our project Google Map.

Muni Service Impacts

Current Muni service impacts are described below. As construction begins at additional locations, additional Muni routes may be impacted.

  • The 30 Stockton and 45 Union/Stockton began re-routing in January around major construction sites in Union Square and SoMa. These reroutes will continue throughout the duration of Central Subway construction.
  • Re-routes of the 8X/8AX/8BX Bayshore Express and 91 Owl Muni bus lines begin July 11. These reroutes will continue throughout the duration of Central Subway construction
  • The 38/38L Geary may experience delays.

Traffic and Pedestrian Impacts

SoMa:

  • At both currently active construction sites, at least two lanes on 4th Street will be open to traffic at all times.
  • All I-80 on- and off-ramps will remain open during the day, but brief nighttime ramp closures may be required.
  • Traffic delays are anticipated. Motorists are encouraged to use the onramp at Harrison and 7th streets as an alternative to access westbound I-80 while launch box construction is in progress. Those traveling to the peninsula may prefer to access the I-280 via 6th Street or Highway 101 via 10th Street.
  • Access to Clementina Street between 4th and 5th streets may be restricted at times, but the contractor will facilitate access for deliveries.
  • Sidewalks may be impacted.
  • Electronic messaging boards will be in place and parking control officers and flaggers will monitor and facilitate the flow of traffic as appropriate.

Union Square:

  • Currently, traffic on Stockton Street between Market and Post streets is limited to Muni buses, taxis, tour buses, emergency vehicles and delivery trucks only.
  • Two traffic detour options are in place to allow for better access to the Union Square area and to aid the flow of traffic:

trafficreroutemap

 

We appreciate your continued patience while construction is in progress.

03 July 2012 ~ 3 Comments

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

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.

27 June 2012 ~ 3 Comments

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

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.

27 June 2012 ~ 1 Comment

Launch box construction proceeds in SoMa with cranes and specialized excavators now in operation

This video shows the work currently underway on 4th Street between Bryant and Harrison streets in SoMa. The full HD video can be downloaded here.

It may look like a lot of dirt and mud right now, but in just a few years, what you see in the video above will become the Central Subway – a major upgrade to San Francisco’s public transportation system that will significantly improve mobility for thousands of San Franciscans.

The exciting first chapter of constructing the Central Subway tunnel is progressing in SoMa, with construction of a major excavation known as a launch box underway on 4th Street between Bryant and Harrison streets. At nearly 500 feet long, 50 feet wide and up to 40 feet deep, the launch box will take up most of the block.

Currently, tunneling contractor Barnard Impregilo Healy Joint Venture is using cranes and specialized excavators, including a 10-foot-tall, 15-ton, claw-like hydraulic excavator known as a “grab,” to dig a series of deep, narrow holes around the perimeter of the launch box. The holes, ranging in depth from 60 to 80 feet, are stabilized using a mud-like slurry and then backfilled with concrete to form panels. The panels will make up the walls of the tunnel launch box.

The 10-foot-tall, 15-ton “grab” shown here is digging a series of deep, narrow holes around the perimeter of the launch box. The holes are stabilized using a mud-like slurry and then backfilled with concrete to form panels, forming the walls of the tunnel launch box.

Next year two tunnel boring machines will start digging the Central Subway tunnels from the launch box, traveling north under 4th Street and then Stockton Street. The launch box will eventually become the portal where T Third Line trains will enter and exit the Central Subway tunnel, quickly transporting transit customers through SoMa, Union Square and Chinatown.

Here are a few more photos of the work currently underway to construct the Central Subway tunnel:

After using the grab to remove earth from the ground, the crane operator deposits it nearby. Later, the excavated materials will be transported off-site.

This large crane is used to excavate areas that are not beneath the I-80 overpass. A smaller crane (shown in the top photo) is used beneath the I-80 overpass.

These I-beams will be used to stabilize the walls around the launch box.