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Striking Photos of the Transbay Transit Center As It Begins Its Historic Rise

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Between Lumina, the Salesforce Tower, and the many other skyscrapers currently taking shape, construction barriers are a common sight around the Transbay District. At the heart of it all is the Pelli Clarke Pelli-designed Transbay Transit Center itself, heralded as the future Grand Central Station of the West. After years of dirt excavation and underground work, the transit center finally started to rise above ground just over a month ago, so we thought it was high time to check in and take a photo tour of the current construction scene.

You can't built the Transbay Transit Center from the outside in because of the many buildings that surround it, so right now the Transbay is being built from the inside out. That's the purpose of the long trestle, which runs down the center of the construction site and is currently home to lots of machinery. Below the trestle are the foundations for the center, where eventually the Caltrain will come in on the bottom level and where there will be a public concourse where people buy tickets.

Above ground, some structural steel assembly is starting to happen and demolition for the future bus ramps (which will be quite beautiful) is happening. Steel is being manufactured in nine states around the country. Much of it gets fitted in Oregon, Washington and Vallejo, where it gets assembled to ensure that it all fits perfectly before being taken apart again and shipped to San Francisco.

There has been plenty of excitement up until this point, from the 1500 15,000-year old mammoth tooth that was discovered during excavation (and is now on display at the California Academy of Sciences) to the time that workers poured 6,000 yards of concrete in one night (one truck holds nine yards—you do the math on how many trucks must have come in that night!). Plus, water must be pumped constantly to keep it out of the site, because if you were to dig only 10 feet below the construction you'd really hit water.

The Transit Center is on track for a 2017 completion, at which point it is estimated that 20 million people will come through each year. Until then, enjoy watching it rise.

· Excavation Complete at Transbay Transit Center in South Beach [Curbed SF]
· At Last, the Transbay Transit Center Is Rising Above Ground [Curbed SF]

Transbay Transit Center

85 Natoma Street, San Francisco, CA