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Fremont Street reopens, Transit Center still closed

Twenty-day, congestion-causing closure over

Fremont Street shortly after reopening.
Photo by Brock Keeling

The section of Fremont Street underneath the damaged Salesforce Transit Center will be open to through traffic again today, but the center itself remains closed and bus traffic will continue rerouting to the temporary transit center around the block.

SFMTA has diverted Fremont Street traffic between Mission and Howard ever since the discovery of cracks in critical support beams holding up the structure overhead in late September.

The city is still investigating the cause of the damage, and the $2.2 billion transit center—which is still brand new—will remain closed to bus traffic for at least a few more weeks.

But the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) announced Sunday night that now at least “work on a four-level shoring system beneath the temporarily closed Salesforce Transit Center [...] is complete.”

The original schedule called for Fremont to reopen last week. Then as that deadline loomed the city cautioned that it could remain closed as late as October 17. In the end they split the difference and reopened the street today after a 20-day suspension.

TJPA also says that workers will continue putting shoring in place in the transit center structure over First Street.

But once again the authority assured drivers once again that this is supposed to just be a precaution and that inspections have detected no damage to that part of the building, adding “crews will conduct work on First Street between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. to minimize impacts to the public” and “there are currently no night time roadway closures scheduled for First Street.”

According to an emergency hearing held in the wake of the transit center shutdown, diagnosing the cause of the problem will mean running tests on the material of the fracture beams that could take weeks.

Until those results come back there’s no way to know how long repair and reopening will take.

Patricia Chang