Construction crews working to shore up a part of San Francisco’s Salesforce Transit Center where two cracked steel beams were found last week are hoping to reopen Fremont Street in about two weeks, officials with the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) said on Oct. 1.
TJPA officials abruptly closed the newly opened Transit Center, as well as Fremont Street between Mission and Howard streets on Oct. 2 after finding the first crack. A second crack was found while workers were inspecting the first.
According to Dennis Turchon, the TJPA’s senior construction manager, crews this week will focus on shoring up a portion of the transit center directly above the closed portion of Fremont Street.
Once the shoring work is complete, some lanes on Fremont Street may be narrowed, if not closed entirely.
“What we’ll do is reconfigure. We’ll look at what can fit through there. It’ll be a narrowing of the lanes,” Turchon said. “We’ll look at that and design accordingly to get traffic through there.”
TJPA spokeswoman Christine Falvey said crews are hoping to reopen Fremont Street by Oct. 12 at the earliest, but couldn’t say when the transit center would reopen.
TJPA officials at this point do not know what caused the cracks.
Turchon said until the shoring is complete, only then will it be safe for the engineers and contractors to gather samples and thoroughly examine the cracks.
“The goal first is to get the full shoring system in and get that girder fully off-loaded,” Turchon said.
Last week, TJPA Executive Director Mark Zabaneh said engineers were looking at whether the cracks were related to the beams’ fabrication, their installation or the center’s design.
Contractors and engineers have inspected other areas of the transit center where the beams are configured similarly and haven’t found any other problems.
The $2.2 billion transit center opened just one month ago and serves in part as a regional bus depot. Buses are now operating from the temporary Transbay Terminal at Howard and Main streets in San Francisco where they operated from before the transit center opened.
TJPA officials are expected to provide an update on the transit center’s temporary closure on Oct. 2 at the TJPA’s special Board of Director’s meeting at City Hall at 9:30 a.m.
By Daniel Montes