The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s Central Subway Project is facing yet another delay, this time caused by a fire last month at the Yerba Buena/Moscone station.
Jonathan Rewers, the SFMTA’s acting chief financial officer, said Tuesday at the agency’s Board of Directors meeting that the fire’s impact will push the project completion date out by six to eight weeks. He said the agency is still planning for revenue service this fall. Rewers revealed the news in the director’s report, filling in for SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin, who is in London for the C40 Climate Summit.
A failed electric component sparked the June 20 fire, Rewers said. Specifically, a switchgear surge arrester part caused the fire inside the circuit breaker cubicle. SFBay previously reported that there were no injuries and that trains being tested in that portion of the subway were not damaged.
Rewers said a total of three cubicles sustained damage and are on order. An insurance claim is being prepared that will include all repair and project delay costs.
The Central Subway, which is an 1.7-mile extension of the T-Third rail line connecting to Chinatown, has been riddled over the years with construction issues and delays, causing the project to go well over its initial budget.
Transit officials hoped to open the new subway sometime in October, but they did not provide an exact revenue service launch date.
The agency also faced water leaks issues in each of its new stations, as Tumlin reported at April’s board meeting, which were expected to be fixed by May. He said then that the automatic train control system testing would commence in July, and that operator training would continue through August, subject to any further delays.
As for the fire at the Yerba Buena/Moscone station, Rewers said the “substation” is scheduled tentatively to be back in operation by Aug. 31.
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. He covers transportation and City Hall. He has spent over a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Jerold is a native in the city and frequently takes public transit everywhere he goes. Email tips to [email protected]