S.F. Central Subway line to launch by 2016

Muni officials say they are on schedule to open a new underground subway system running from the downtown Caltrain station to Chinatown by 2016 — a project which could also lay the groundwork for a future extension to Fisherman’s Wharf.

As planned, the Central Subway project is a 1.7-mile extension connected to the 5.1 mile Third Street Light Rail that includes a new stop at Fourth and Brannan streets, head underground at Bryant Street and conclude in Chinatown.

Estimated to cost $1.4 billion, the Central Subway would cross beneath Market Street, as well as the BART and Muni tunnels, and end at Stockton and Jackson streets. While the original plan included four new underground stations — located at Moscone Center, Market Street, Union Square and Clay Street — the new updated plan combines the Market Street and Union Square stations.

The extended station will have two entrances: a northern entrance along the Geary side of Union Square and a southern entrance that connects to the Powell Street BART and Muni station. An underground concourse would take passengers from the Central Subway platform to the Powell station, a four to five minute walk, according to John Funghi, a senior project manager with the Municipal Transportation Agency.

“One of the things we’re looking at is ways to make that walk pleasant and enjoyable,” Funghi said Wednesday at a forum hosted by the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association. “We have the ability to have retail and incorporate art to make that an enjoyable, beautiful walk.”

According to a Muni timeline, a final design for the Central Subway project is slated for completion by 2010, with construction taking five years and the new route being ready to run in 2016. Construction impact would be minimal, said Funghi, since most of the work would be done underground, with tunnel boring machines.

While the Central Subway — considered the second phase of the newly opened Third Street Light Rail project — will end at Stockton and Jackson streets, Muni is considering a plan to continue boring its tunnel up through the North Beach area, which “would lay the groundwork for a future phase three of this project,” Funghi said.

In 2002, Muni estimated a North Beach extension of the Central Subway would cost approximately $554 million, according to a report the transportation agency published in a SPUR newsletter. Current cost estimates are not available, Muni officials said. According to Funghi, just to bore a tunnel under North Beach would cost $70 million.

Central Subway

The proposed extension would connect to the Third Street Light Rail and include a stop at Fourth and Brannan streets. The line will run underground at Bryant Street, cross beneath Market Street and end in Chinatown, at Stockton and Jackson streets.

beslinger@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

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

People came out in numbers to memorialize George Floyd, who was fatally shot by police, outside San Francisco City Hall on June 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD prepares for possible protests as Chauvin trial continues

Police to schedule community meetings, provide officers with crowd control training

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

San Francisco Park Rangers have seen their budget and staffing levels increase significantly since 2014. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Citations for being in SF’s public parks after midnight soar

Data shows disproportionate impact on Black residents

Central City SRO Collective tenant leader Reggie Reed, left, and Eddie Ahn, executive director of Brightline Defense, were among those distributing environmental awareness posters throughout the Tenderloin, Mid-Market and South of Market neighborhoods. (Courtesy Central City SRO Collaborative)
Environmental dangers are connected to racism

Let’s attack problems with better policies, greater awareness

Most Read