Barricades block off entrances to the shuttered Salesforce Transit Center on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. The transit center was closed after two cracked steel beams were discovered on Sept. 25. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Salesforce Transit Center to reopen July 1

The Salesforce Transit Center is cleared to reopen, its steel structure deemed “sound” for service.

The Salesforce Transit Center will reopen July 1, transit officials announced Tuesday.

That means the rooftop park and grand hall of the $2.2 billion facility will finally reopen to the public, almost a year after cracks were first discovered in the steel beams supporting its bus deck.

Muni bus service will return in “early July,” according to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which operates the transbay transit center. AC Transit’s 26 bus lines and Westcat Lynx transbay service won’t return until “late summer” this year, TJPA added.

“Better late than never,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who also chairs the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.

He added, “After a couple of billion dollars, I’d hope that we’d have our transit center open even if bringing in high-speed rail and Caltrain (to it) are years away.”

Officials trumpeted the much-anticipated opening date after the transbay transit center was cleared to reopen by an independent peer review panel Tuesday morning, a body who declared the building’s steel structure deemed “sound” for service.

San Francisco and Oakland’s mayors called for the panel to verify inspections conducted by the TJPA late last year.

“We can represent to you and the public alike confidence that the Transbay Transit Center’s girder problem was isolated and that the appropriate repairs have been performed,” wrote Therese McMillan, executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, in a letter to San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf sent Monday.

And that also may mean the transbay transit center will open within days, as transit officials said last week that they would reopen the rooftop park and grand hall immediately after an independent peer review panel concludes reviews of necessary inspections.

The bus terminal with a rooftop park located in downtown San Francisco was first closed in September last year after workers discovered two fissures in steel beams on the bus deck above Fremont Street. An investigation found the cause of the fractured structural beams forcing the center’s closure to thermally cut weld access holes.

After eight months of independent review, the peer review panel convened by the MTC, which was requested by Breed and Schaaf, has verified inspections to find the transbay transit center safe.

In her letter to those mayors, McMillan said the independent peer review panel has verified repairs and subsequent inspections performed by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which runs the transbay transit center.

“We agree the steel structure is ready for service,” she said.

joe@sfexaminer.com

This story was updated Tuesday at 12:45 p.m. after officials announced the new opening date for the transit center.

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