Cable car improvement project begins

Thursday marks the beginning of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s cable car replacement program on California Street, a project that will eventually sideline the iconic transit vehicles for six months.

The first phase of the $16 million project includes pedestrian-access upgrades to comply with the Americans with Disability Act, street resurfacing, and repairs to the below ground sewer infrastructure. That work begins Thursday.

In January, the second phase of the project will kick off, which will require the shutdown of the California Cable Car line. That work includes electrical, mechanical, and utility upgrades, and street repaving. SFMTA officials have stressed that upgrading the cable car infrastructure is critical, as the system has been without major work improvements for over 15 years.

From January to June 2011, cable cars on California Street will be replaced by bus shuttles. The 1-California line will remain active during the construction.

Construction hours will typically range from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the duration of the project. Residents can expects traffic delays, parking restrictions and detours.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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