SFMTA Central Subway project making progress, but slowed by COVID

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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SFMTA says Central Subway project will be delayed for a few months, primarily due to COVID.
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) today announced that its Central Subway project, which will extend the T Third underground to Chinatown through some of the busiest and densest parts of the city, will be delayed for several months, primarily due to COVID.

The expected completion date was the end of December 2020, and the line would open to riders a year later (December 2021). However, project leaders are now projecting that construction will be complete in spring 2021, and revenue service will begin in spring 2022.

The agency cited the following as the reasons the project is being delayed:

  • Moving to remote work and instituting necessary safety measures and procedures during COVID-19 
  • Quarantining multiple contractor crews when, despite safety measures, some of the team tested positive for COVID-19 
  • Difficulties and delays in getting materials from suppliers during COVID-19 
  • Ongoing design changes throughout the project due to the differing site conditions discovered deep underground 

 The agency pointed out that most of the work on the project has been completed:

“Most importantly for our neighbors, the most disruptive construction is far behind us. The streets and sidewalks along Stockton Street in Union Square and Chinatown are reopened and most work is now deep underground. The last remaining closed street – one block of Washington Street in Chinatown – will be reopened around the end of the year.  

“The vast majority of the project is now completed. The tunnels and tracks are done with crews now working on the final finishes, installing art and systems like automatic train control cabling, traction power and communications.”

More information about the project is available online.

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Categories: Passenger, Rail News, Rapid Transit/Light Rail, Track Construction
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