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Twin Peaks subway tunnel to close over summer, shuttle buses to run for trains

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The Twin Peaks Tunnel, which ends at the West Portal Station, will be closed this summer for repairs. (Jessica Christian/Examiner file photo)

The Twin Peaks tunnel will be continuously closed for 60 days starting in late June, affecting some 81,000 Muni daily metro subway trips, which will be replaced with shuttle buses.

The planned closure follows a number of stops and starts for the Twin Peaks Tunnel Replacement Project, which has encountered some roadblocks since 2016.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency made the announcement last week, though regular riders of the K-Ingleside, L-Taraval and M-Ocean View subway lines may have already noticed signs warning them of impending closures for repair work of the 100-year-old Twin Peaks tunnel. That tunnel, which sees trains zip underneath Twin Peaks to Forest Hill and West Portal Stations has already seen some delay in its repairwork, as the San Francisco Examiner has previously reported.

SFMTA cancelled its $32 million contract with NTK Construction Inc. for the repair work last June, citing “logistical issues” in planning the shutdowns. The work was initially slated to start in fall 2016, was delayed until January 2017, and then finally again pushed back to summer 2018.

The tunnel project will “extensively rehabilitate” the 2-mile long tunnel, replacing the tracks replacement, making repairs to the tunel and drainage system and seismically retrofittig the tunnel, according to an SFMTA staff report.

“It’s a hundred years old,” SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said, of the drainage system. He spoke about the closures to the SFMTA Board of Directors last Tuesday.

The tunnel has already been closed early some evenings and opened late some weekend mornings, Reiskin said, which is “allowing the contractor to get a lot of work done, so it’ll be smooth sailing in the full closure.”

Starting in June, buses will substitute for the underground portions of Muni metro trains that use the tunnel, on the K-Ingleside, L-Taraval, and M-Ocean View routes, he said. A “rider guide” providing the full schedule and locations of the shuttle bus replacements will be available before the tunnel closures, according to an SFMTA announcement.

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