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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.

15 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Skybridge Shined in Chinatown

During the summer of 2015, the Chinese Cultural Center (CCC) unveiled Sky Bridge, a dazzling piece of temporary art designed by artist Beili Lui.   This work transformed the pedestrian bridge located on Kearny Street between the Hilton Hotel and Portsmouth Square.

The Skybridge project was the final piece of the Chinese Cultural Center’s multiyear project, Central Subway, Journey to Chinatown.  This was a series of temporary art projects to celebrate the history of the Chinese culture in San Francisco as the first subway to Chinatown is built.   This series included art installations in Wentworth Alley and Walter U Lum Place as well as music and dance festivals.

The Skybridge was built with a team of volunteers and CCC staff, demonstrating true community spirit.  In one week, the CCC and its volunteers covered 50,000 bricks with Mylar (polyester film).  The labor was very intense due to extreme heat.  Different weather conditions gave the bridge changing looks from extremely bright due to the reflection of the sun to hues of blue and gray.

11 December 2015 ~ 1 Comment

Project Advancement | December 11 – 21

Welders fashion brackets for a large strut in the southeast corner of the Chinatown Station headhouse.

Welders fashion brackets for a large strut in the southeast corner of the Chinatown Station headhouse

This notice provides a construction update and a look ahead for what to expect in the areas where we are building four new stations along the alignment. You’ll find information about work activities, traffic and transportation impacts taking place over the next two weeks at SoMa, Yerba Buena|Moscone, Union Square and Chinatown.

An exciting find was made at the site of the Chinatown north access shaft.  During excavation, pieces of 19th century industrial sewing machines were found.  As part of California’s requirements for new construction, crews have been excavating for historical artifacts throughout the Central Subway project.

Construction schedules, bus routes, and stop locations are subject to change due to unforeseen conditions. Signs will be posted at affected stops to advise of service changes.

Our thanks goes out to the businesses, residents, shoppers, commuters, and all those who are touched by the Project, for their continued engagement as we work to extend the city’s public transportation system.

The Central Subway Team

11 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Past is Found During Central Subway Construction

 

While excavating at this site, several cast iron sewing machine stands were found, likely buried in the 1906 earthquake.  Archaeologists from Sonoma State are in place removing the remaining artifacts.

While excavating at this site, several cast iron sewing machine stands were found, likely buried in the 1906 earthquake. Archaeologists from Sonoma State are in place removing the remaining artifacts

Remants of Chinatowns past were unearthed this week as construction crew performed excavation for the north access shaft. While chipping away at bricks and dirt 8 feet below the street, pieces of 19th century sewing machines were found.

As part of California’s environmental requirements for new construction, crews have been excavating for historical artifacts during the Central Subway project.   This effort is a state law and helps San Francisco find pieces of its past thought lost more than a century ago. The City has hired six archaeological consultants to excavate construction sites, including Sonoma State.

On April 18, 1906 a crippling earthquake hit San Francisco followed by a fire that raged for 3 days. Over 28,000 buildings were destroyed. Most of Chinatown was devastated by the blaze.   The sewing machines discovered are believed to have been used in a basement of a Chinatown factory destroyed in the calamity. The find was discovered at what was once 1018 Stockton Street, today 1044 Stockton, home of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance.  This discovery will shed new light on the life in Chinatown during the final years of the 19th century.

“This is unprecedented in our experience,” said Adrian Praetzellis, director of the Anthropological Studies Center at Sonoma State University. “There’s very little that remains of Chinatown prior to the [1906] earthquake, so this is basically the last remains of the earliest Chinatown.” (SF Examiner, http://www.sfexaminer.com/archaeologists-unearth-slice-of-pre-1906-earthquake-chinatown-amid-central-subway-construction/)

More exciting finds like the one found on Stockton can be expected as the City continues to grow and develop.

10 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Featured Photos – December 10

Excavation has begun for the future site of Chinatown Station’s north access emergency stairwell. Read more about the excavation here.

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Crews restore the pavement along Stockton Street between Clay and Sacramento. This follows installation of pipes and pumps for future work.

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Excavation in Chinatown has reached approximately 60 feet below street level. Crews are now constructing the top of an arched structure which will lead passengers to the station platform.

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If you would like to see more photos of project construction, check out our Flickr, updated weekly!

04 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Shop Chinatown and Chinatown Pretty Exhibit Celebrate Chinese Style

Sample merchandise from Shop Chinatown.  Image credit: Shop Chinatown

Sample merchandise from Shop Chinatown. Image credit: Shop Chinatown

 

Shop Chinatown, is an annual event to help the small businesses along Stockton Street. Shop Chinatown focuses on Chinese fashion and highlights 18 local businesses near the Central Subway construction.  There are special promotions for shoppers and people visiting the area. Shop Chinatown is featuring a special fashion Give Away from December 4 through December 20.  Shoppers that spend $10 at any of the participating Shop Chinatown merchants will win a raffle ticket.  The raffle tickets can be deposited at 41 Ross Alley through 3 p.m. on Sunday December 20.   Randomly drawn prize winners will receive gift certificates for Shop Chinatown stores for amounts up to $500.  The more you shop, the more you can win.

“Fashion stores have always been an integral part of Chinatown’s unique cultural economy,” said Roy Chan, community planning manager of Chinatown Community Development Center. “For SHOP CHINATOWN 2015, we wanted a creative way to encourage shopping in these stores. Andria and Valerie’s lively exhibit and website showcases the style and stories of some fashionable local residents. And the prize drawing promotes shopping with the prize money benefiting the stores in the neighborhood. We are using arts and culture to positively assist the neighborhood and highlight its unique character.”

When depositing raffle tickets at 41 Ross Alley, shoppers can see the Chinatown Pretty Exhibition.   Chinatown Pretty celebrates the ingenuity, flair and beauty of Chinatown and its longtime residents.   The exhibition was created by Andria Lo and Valerie Luu, featuring large format photographic portraits and stories of the residents.   Viewing this art is a great way to unwind after a busy day of shopping.

The project celebrates Chinatown fashion and culture, promotes shopping local to Chinatown small businesses, and provides technical assistance and marketing strategies for the businesses during the upcoming holidays. In order to continue to build and maintain a strong economic foundation, we must ensure our City’s rising prosperity benefits every single San Franciscan including our small business community.  Small businesses are the backbone of our local economy; they add character to our city and enliven our neighborhoods while employing approximately 326,000 residents.”

 

shop chinatown

 

04 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Project Advancement | December 4 – 14

Central Subway Project Director John Funghi speaks at the 2015 Winter Walk Inaugural  Event.

Central Subway Project Director John Funghi speaks at the 2015 Winter Walk Inaugural Event

This notice provides a construction update and a look ahead for what to expect in the areas where we are building four new stations along the alignment. You’ll find information about work activities, traffic and transportation impacts taking place over the next two weeks at SoMa, Yerba Buena|Moscone, Union Square and Chinatown.

Shop Chinatown, an annual holiday event to support businesses along Stockton Street highlights 18 merchants near the Central Subway construction.   There are special promotions for shoppers including a fashion Give Away from December 3 through 20.  A photo exhibit, Chinatown Pretty celebrates the residents of Chinatown.

Construction schedules, bus routes, and stop locations are subject to change due to unforeseen conditions. Signs will be posted at affected stops to advise of service changes.

Our thanks goes out to the businesses, residents, shoppers, commuters, and all those who are touched by the Project, for their continued engagement as we work to extend the city’s public transportation system.

The Central Subway Team

03 December 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Featured Photos – December 3

Union Square Business Improvement District (BID) Executive Director Karin Flood and Central Subway Program Director John Funghi kick-off the second annual Winter Walk. This pop-up open space, features entertainment, Off the Grid food trucks, and is located on Stockton Street between Geary and Ellis during the holiday moratorium.

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The much-appreciated plaza features a nightly light show that is projected onto the Macy’s Men’s building, featuring San Francisco landmarks and holiday themed-images.

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Shoppers, pedestrians, visitors and locals of all ages can enjoy the open space, festive decorations and special seating in the plaza through the first of January.

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If you would like to see more photos of project construction, check out our Flickr, updated weekly!

24 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

Celebrate the Holiday Season in the Winter Walk

Slender metal stakes and a long strip of adhesive affixed to the underside of the turf joints keep everything together.

Slender metal stakes and a long strip of adhesive affixed to the underside of the turf joints keep everything together as workers set up for the 2015 Winter Walk

Happy Thanksgiving!  The Central Subway team wishes San Francisco a happy and healthy 2015 holiday season.

Come and celebrate the season with the second annual Union Square Winter Walk. Beginning Friday, November 27 and continuing through New Year’s Day, Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary will be transformed into a winter wonderland.

Last year, the Winter Walk was a great success and we have more holiday treats and surprises for the public this year. Off the Grid food trucks will be there to satisfy hungry shoppers.  A nightly light show will dazzle the Winter Walk.  Sample Ghirardelli chocolate on Saturdays. There will be performances by carolers and other entertainers.  These are just some of the delights available for your pleasure in the Winter Walk. For more information see #WinterWalkSF.

We hope to see you all at the Winter Walk.  Thanks to the entire public for your cooperation in 2015 as we build a new subway for our city.

Here are some photos from last year’s Winter Walk:

The Winter Walk is a great place for shoppers to relax after a busy day of shopping

The Winter Walk is a great place for shoppers to relax after a busy day of shopping

 

Shoppers enjoying the night in the 2014 Winter Walk

Shoppers enjoying  the 2014 Winter Walk

Off the Grid trucks were stationed in the Winter Walk 2014.   They are returning to provide treats to hungry shoppers

Off the Grid trucks were stationed in the Winter Walk 2014. They are returning this year to provide treats to hungry shoppers

20 November 2015 ~ 2 Comments

Project Advancement | November 20 – 30

Slender metal stakes and a long strip of adhesive affixed to the underside of the turf joints keep everything together.

Slender metal stakes and a long strip of adhesive affixed to the underside of the turf joints keep everything together

This notice provides a construction update and a look ahead for what to expect in the areas where we are building four new stations along the alignment. You’ll find information about work activities, traffic and transportation impacts taking place over the next two weeks at SoMa, Yerba Buena|Moscone, Union Square and Chinatown.

With the holiday season upon the City, the Central Subway team is planning the second annual Winter Walk in Union Square. Stockton Street between Ellis Street and Geary Street will be transformed into a winter wonderland from Thanksgiving through the New Year.  This was a great success last year and will be even better this year.  We hope all San Franciscans enjoy this celebration.

Construction schedules, bus routes, and stop locations are subject to change due to unforeseen conditions. Signs will be posted at affected stops to advise of service changes.

Our thanks goes out to the businesses, residents, shoppers, commuters, and all those who are touched by the Project, for their continued engagement as we work to extend the city’s public transportation system.

The Central Subway Team

 

 

19 November 2015 ~ 0 Comments

4th and King Trackwork Installation

Work to upgrade the track interchange at 4th and King went through the week of Veteran's Day.

Work to upgrade the track interchange at 4th and King went through the week of Veteran’s Day

The Central Subway has achieved a major milestone:  the installation of the initial tracks at 4th and King, which will change the alignment of the T-Third to head North towards Chinatown.   This was a two phased project; the first part was completed over the Labor Day weekend and the second phase was performed from the evening of Friday, November 6 through Saturday, November 14.

The construction crew worked around the clock starting Friday evening, November 6.  The work started with drilling into pavement and removing old tracks to install a new track configuration.   The crew was successful in laying down the new tracks which is the foundation for the T line to go down4th street towards the new surface station at 4th and Brannan and will then extend to the tunnel located at 4th and Bryant.  The T-Line will then travel to Yerba Buena | Moscone, Union Square | Market Street and Chinatown.

The project had impacts on traffic, pedestrian activity and Muni transit.   Thank you to the public for your cooperation as we work to build a new subway for our City.   When the Central Subway begins revenue operation in 2019, the travel time from 4th and King to Chinatown will be under 8 minutes.   Passengers will have quicker access to other Muni lines and BART.  Thank you to our city Agency family and Regional Partners for collaborating with the Central Subway Team.

Here are some photographs of the activity:

 

Workers prepare to weld grounding copper to the tracks, using a rapidly-burning powder which burns at a high temperature.

Workers prepare to weld grounding copper to the tracks, using a rapidly-burning powder which burns at a high temperature

New tracks now join into the old configuration, approaching the 4th and Berry Metro platform.

New tracks now join into the old configuration, approaching the 4th and Berry Metro platform.

A worker makes markings at an X junction, where N Judah tracks cross the future T Line tracks going north on 4th Street.

A worker makes markings at an X junction, where N Judah tracks cross the future T Line tracks going north on 4th Street

Each section of track is specifically engineered to fit precisely with the next.

  Each section of track is specifically engineered to fit precisely with the next