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Transbay Transit Center and Salesforce Park likely won’t reopen until 2019

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No date set for multibillion-dollar transit center’s comeback

Photo by Patricia Chang

Opening in August 2018 to great fanfare and decent reviews, the Transbay Transit Center and Salesforce Park now exists as a dormant architectural behemoth in San Francisco’s East Cut neighborhood. Think of it as the elliptical machine in your living room, which also had plenty of potential but is now merely a coat rack.

This large, $2.2-billion elephant in the room closed six weeks after opening, with no reopening date set. Seeing as how it’s almost December, and an official cause has yet to be made public, the transit center and park will likely not reopen until next year. Alas.

“Our goal is to open the transit center and park as soon as safely possible,” explains a spokesperson for the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. “In order to do that, we have to first determine the cause of the fissure at the Fremont Street location. The samples of the beams have been sent off to a metallurgical lab in New York with our engineers and independent experts overseen by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission monitoring the analysis and testing.”

Once a cause is determined, further inspections and a repair process will get underway.

Hydraulic jacks temporarily supporting the Transbay Transit Center.
Photo by Brock Keeling

On September 26, employees installing ceiling panels on the center’s third-floor bus platform discovered a fissure on a supporting steel beam prompting the entire center’s immediate closure. A second crack was discovered that same day during a comprehensive inspection.

Transit lines that serviced the center—a few Muni bus lines, Golden Gate Transit, and AC Transit—were diverted to the nearby Temporary Transbay Terminal at Howard and Main.

Since that day, both the transit center and the rooftop park, popular with worker drones during lunch hour, closed. Police barricades keep pedestrians at bay. The raised park remains empty save for the occasional permitted workers inspecting the area or tending to the flora.

By mid-October, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which oversees the Transbay Transit Center, dangled a tentative reopening date of mid-November, which has since come and gone.

Curbed SF will update as soon as a reopening date is set.