Salesforce Transit Center – the players behind the project and its problems

It took seven years for the Salesforce Transit Terminal to debut. To say the project has encountered bumps in the road would be an understatement at best. The $2.2 billion dollar publicly funded transit center has been fraught with budget overruns, deadline delays and a $260 million bailout. And with the recent discoveries of – not one – but two cracks in steel support beams, there are new questions about public safety and accountability.

This prompted 2 Investigates to take a broader look at the project and explain its major players and potholes. 

Salesforce Transit Terminal (originally called the Transbay Transit Center) key players:

Overseeing agency: Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA)
-    This agency is a joint powers authority created by the city and county of San Francisco, the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, the California High Speed Rail Authority and Caltrans. It maintains its own jurisdiction and oversees all matters pertaining to finance, designs, development, construction and operation of the Transbay Program. 

Contractor: Webcor/Obayashi Joint Venture 
-    Based on CA’s Department of Industrial Relations’ records, Webcor/Obayashi is identified as the contractor on the Transbay Transit Center project. The agency is a joint venture between San Francisco-based contractor Webocr Builders and international contractor (based in South San Francisco) Obayashi. In May, engineering firm Skanska USA sued Webcor/Obayashi saying the project was compromised by poorly planned construction instructions. TJPA hired Skanska as a subcontractor in 2013. Webcor/Obayashi denied this allegations in court documents.

Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
-    Pelli Clarke Pelli Architechs is the lead architect for the Transbay Transit Center, according to the project’s website. It’s also the lead architect of the Salesforce Tower. KTVU 2 Investigates’ calls for comment on cracks in the steel beams were not returned. 

Steel Manufacturers: Herrick  
-    The Stockton-based company fabricated the steel that is currently cracked. The transit center’s senior construction manager said Herrick manufactured 30 percent of the project’s steel. A total of seven steel companies (all US-based) helped in providing steel for the project.