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Transbay Transit Center reopening delayed until at least July

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Hurry up and wait

Inside the Transbay Transit Center.
Photo by Patricia Chang

While the public waits for an official reopening date for the multibillion dollar Transbay Transit Center, June is now off the table.

Shortly after repair work concluded earlier in May, Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) Executive Director Mark Zabaneh predicted that it would take roughly four weeks worth of retraining to get bus traffic moving through the facility again.

That means that the optimistic forecast of a June reopening date is all but closed, and July is the earliest time San Franciscans might hope to once again see the $2.2-billion transit hub and rooftop park.

A spokesperson for the Transbay Joint Powers Association tells Curbed SF, “The peer review panel reported last week that they will conclude over the next few weeks. We are eager to receive their final conclusions and will release a reopening date as soon as we receive word that they are fully satisfied with all of our efforts to reopen the center.”

The peer review team consists of independent engineers and consultants, based in New York City, double checking repair work done on the damaged girders, which led to the center’s sudden closure in late 2018, and inspections completed on the structure’s entirety.

That panel’s say-so represents the final hurdle to a reopening date. The review team met in full last week, briefly bolstering hopes that the closure may end soon.

TJPA tells Curbed SF that it is prepping to open, stating that “TJPA is nearly complete recommissioning the entire facility and is hiring back operational staff.”

The review counsel’s eventual recommendations may lead to a speedy restoration of service or could prompt more delays if they decide that repair work or inspections are inadequate.

Faulty welds turned out to be the culprit that led to the girder damage in the first place. Thus far, no additional bad welds have turned up anywhere else in the building.

Construction of the terminal took nearly a decade between 2010 and 2018, but voters approved funding in 1999 and the TJPA itself dates back to 2001. The Transbay Transit Center/Salesforce Park was open for only six weeks in 2018.