New subway route heads to MTA

After years of community input and agency wrangling, a new route for the proposed $1.3 billion Central Subway goes before the Municipal Transportation Agency board Tuesday.

The board will also vote on requesting proposals from construction-management firms to oversee the project — a contract that could be worth up to $82 million, according to MTA documents.

The new alignment follows a route similar to a previous proposal, but goes underground at a new point. Locations of stations have changed and one has been added, according to MTA documents.

The Central Subway would connect the T-Third at Fourth and King streets with the downtown and Chinatown areas by traveling up Fourth Street, going underground underneath the Interstate Highway 80 overpass and continuing up Stockton until Jackson Street, according to the new proposal.

A new station is proposed for Fourth and Brannan streets and other stations are proposed to be located at Fourth between Folsom and Howard, Stockton and O’Farrell, and Stockton and Jackson. The location of stations is not yet final, officials said.

The project, which recently received $12 million in federal funding, is estimated to open in 2016 and has support from key city leaders, including Mayor Gavin Newsom and Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin, whose district includes Chinatown.

The overall cost of the new underground railway is estimated at $1.29 billion, said John Funghi, the Central Subway program manager, who added that financial commitments from multiple levels of government have secured all of the funding needed for the project.

“It’s a big step for us,” Funghi said of Tuesday’s vote.

The agency previously looked at three other options, including one that continued the route along Third Street, after crossing into the South of Market area. It has conducted more than 150 community meetings about the project. MTA staff recommends moving forward with the new Fourth and Stockton alternative.

Nathaniel Ford, executive director of the MTA, said the project has received “worldwide attention” from top engineering firms.

“In terms of its complexity, its location and what it means for this city, we expect a great deal of interest,” Ford said. He said the MTA would likely decide on a firm in the fall.

Newsom acknowledged that construction and the annoyances it could create downtown will be a “tough, tough challenge” for the MTA.

“But the alternative is what we have, and people agree that our surface orientation of Muni is not the most efficient,” Newsom said.

dsmith@examiner.com  

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Hyphen hosts a group show at Space Gallery in San Francisco in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Albert Law/Pork Belly Studio)
What’s in a name? Asian American magazine fights to keep its identity

An investor-backed media group laid claim to the moniker of SF’s long-running Hyphen magazine, sparking a conversation about writing over community history

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Most Read