San Francisco’s Central Subway project took a major step forward early Thursday with the arrival of the massive $12.5 million drills that will bore deep under the city’s Chinatown District.
The $1.6 billion Central Subway project will create a new branch of the agency's T-Third light-rail line between the South of Market neighborhood and Chinatown.
Central Subway Project Program Director John Funghi said it would be about a month before the drilling begins.
The assembly of the machine -- keep in mind that it's about 300 feet long -- takes about four to six weeks,” he told KTVU. “So we anticipate (drilling to begin) in early June, we'll actually do the launching of the machine."
A crew of 10 will drive each boring machine, digging out up to 40 feet of tunnel a day.
SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose said the next phase of the project will force the closure of one of the entrances to the Powell Street BART and Muni Metro station in San Francisco for about five years.
The closure had initially been scheduled for last August, but was delayed after crews determined it was not necessary until this week, Rose said.
As part of the project, expected to be completed in 2019, the Powell Street station entrance will be linked to an underground concourse and the future Union Square/Market Street Central Subway station, according to the SFMTA.
The new Chinatown metro train route will start above ground near the Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets, and will then drop underground, with subway stops at Yerba Buena/Moscone, Union Square/Market Street and Chinatown.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.
Santa Claus is visiting the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA’s new adoption center on three dates in December, giving local residents an opportunity to have their pets pose for a holiday keepsake photo.