San Francisco’s newly opened Salesforce Transit Center will remain closed through next week as engineers continue to inspect a crack found on Sept. 25, in a steel beam, as well as a newly discovered crack on a parallel beam.
Workers installing ceiling panels discovered the first crack Tuesday morning on the third-level bus deck above Fremont Street. Officials with the Transbay Joint Powers Authority then promptly closed the $2.2 billion facility and a portion of Fremont Street between Howard and Mission streets were closed too.
The first crack that was discovered is 2 feet 6 inches long. The second is smaller and was discovered while engineers inspected the first.
The larger of the two cracks are located on a beam that extends east and west, across Fremont Street, and supports the third-level roof and bus deck as well as the fourth-story park above.
“At this point in time, we don’t know what the cause of the crack is,” TJPA Executive Director Mark Zabaneh said today.
The beam was installed during construction in 2016 and has not been inspected since, which Zabaneh said, is standard protocol.
TJPA officials are working with contractor Webcor/Obayashi and structural engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti to inspect the cracks.
Zabaneh said they’re looking into whether the cracks are related to the beams’ fabrication, their installation or the center’s design.
According to Dennis Turchon, the TJPA’s senior construction manager, the steel beams used to construct the center were supplied by at least seven different manufacturers, all located in the U.S.
Zabaneh said contactors and engineers have inspected other areas of the transit center where the beams are configured similarly and haven’t found any other problems.
“I’m very sorry for the inconvenience to the public. We’re working hard to rectify the situation,” he said. “We’re very disappointed with what happened.”
Zabaneh said, “We will not reopen the transit center or Fremont Street until we’re 100 percent sure that the issue is rectified, correct and that the building is safe.”
With the center’s closure, all transit operators, including the San Francisco Municipal Railway and the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, will now resume service at the formerly closed Temporary Transbay Terminal at Howard and Main streets, according to TJPA officials. Both drivers and transit riders should expect delays in the city’s downtown area.
The four-story Salesforce Transit Center opened in August. Stretching four city blocks, it boasts a 5.4-acre rooftop public park and space for pop-up retail shops, art displays, and restaurants.
Zabaneh said the cracks are not related to the problems at the nearby sinking Millennium Tower, the 58-story luxury high-rise at 301 Mission St., which has sunk 16 inches.