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Sample of cracked Salesforce beams to be removed, analyzed

The cause of cracks in two steel beams at the $2.2 billion Salesforce Transit Center will not be known for weeks, officials said with the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

A special meeting was held at City Hall on Tuesday with the TJPA board where construction manager Dennis Turchon updated board members with a schedule and plan for putting in a temporary fix to support the two cracked steel beams and to send a sample of those beams out to a lab for testing.

By Friday next, a shoring system will be in place on Fremont Street that will be able to take the complete weight off of the two cracked beams. It is not until the shoring system is in place that crews can take a sample of the cracked beams to send to a lab and be microscopically looked at to find the cause of the cracked beams.

Turchon said the TJPA probably will not know the cause of the cracks until Nov. 1.

Once structural engineers get the report back on the cause, they can begin work on a permanent fix, which will be peer-reviewed by designers, structural engineers and metallurgical engineers.

Mark Zabaneh, executive director of the TJPA, said he has already begun making calls to experts to join the peer review group.

As to how long it will take to come up with a permanent fix, Zabaneh said:

“My goal is weeks, not months.”

Mohammed Nuru, who serves as The City’s Public Works director and chair of the TJPA board asked Zabaneh when the park could reopen safely when the shoring system is in place.

Zabaneh said:

“Potentially Director Nuru, we could probably be able to open the park after we get the test results back to know what the cause is.”

The shoring system will be able to handle the live load of people on top of the rooftop park, said Zabaneh.

While the park has the potential of reopening during the first week of November, the bus deck will remain closed, which means commuters will have to keep using the Temporary Transbay Terminal.

In meantime, officials are planning to reopen Fremont Street next Friday but with narrower traffic lanes as two steel towers acting that are part of the shoring system will be in place in the middle of the street.

The TJPA is working with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency on reconfiguring the traffic lanes on Fremont Street.

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