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Reopening date for Salesforce Transit Center remains unclear

Officials with the Salesforce Transit Center are still not clear when they will reopen the $2.2 billion facility, but costs are incurring as a result of the closure of the transit center since Sept. 25 and the closure of Fremont Street between Mission and Howard streets.

On Thursday, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors met at City Hall to receive the latest update on the transit center and when Fremont Street would reopen.

Officials had planned to open Fremont Street on Friday but delayed the reopening until next Wednesday.

Temporary shoring system for two cracked steel beams at Salesforce Transit Center is seen on First Street in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, October 11, 2018. Ching Wong/SFBay

Dennis Turchon, senior construction manager, said the scope of installing the shoring system inside the transit center was evolving and required more time.

Crews are installing a four-level shoring system inside the transit center, including on the transit center’s bus deck where a cracked steel beam was found on Sept. 25 by two construction workers installing ceiling panels. A second cracked steel beam was found the next day.

Tuchon said the Oct. 17 reopening date was a “no later than” date.

While the street remains closed, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will have to keep parking control officers near the transit center to help direct traffic.

Ed Reiskin, the SFMTA’s transportation director who sits on the TJPA board, said he wants to make sure a system is in place for when the TJPA finds out who is accountable for two cracked beams, so that city agencies can seek reimbursement:

“Do you have system in place to track all these costs because I know speaking for The City and I think other transit agencies, there’s certainly an expectation that these will be all reimbursed.”

SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said the transit agency does not have estimate of how much they have spent so far due to the transit center closure, but said:

“We have seen additional costs for parking control officer support, transit and communication support.”

Mark Zabaneh, TJPA executive director, said the TJPA has also foregone ad revenue as the program began just a day before crews discovered the first cracked beam.

Zabaneh said the TJPA is tracking their costs and has no doubt other agencies are tracking their costs as well and share them with the TJPA soon.

In the meantime, once the entire weight of the two cracked steel beams is off loaded to the shoring system, crews will begin to take sample of the beam and send it to a lab to identify the cause.

Fremont Street next to the Salesforce Transit Center where crews are fixing two cracked steel beams remains closed in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, October 11, 2018. Ching Wong/SFBay

Officials expect to know the cause sometime in the first week of November and then work a permanent fix.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission will also be part of a peer review process of the final fix as requested by San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.

Engineers have already begun working on possible permanent fixes but ultimately, the test sample result will dictate the permanent the fix.

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