SF Transbay Terminal headed for possible June reopening

The less than one-year-old $2.2 billion San Francisco Transbay Terminal, which has been closed since September due to cracked support beams over Fremont Street, may finally reopen while it's still spring.

KTVU went to the facility Wednesday morning to see the work in progress and when the public may, once again, use and enjoy it. 

Even though there is no final, definitive or official finding on what caused the beam to crack in the first place, engineers had to work around that problem. 

"You create a repair that's independent of whatever happened because of the crack," said Senior Construction Manager Dennis Turchon. 

That will be accomplished by using fourteen huge, high-strength steel plates. They will be bolted on to all the cracked girder beams, above and below. And, just to be sure, more reinforcement plates will be installed on another set of identical girder beams that did not crack. 

"I would call this a reinforcement. At the First Street, which is where the girder was not cracked, it is just an enhancement," said Turchon. 

This kind of super strong sandwich will make the beams as strong or stronger than the originals. The bolting will take about two weeks and then, a final series of independent inspections, which have been going on every step of the way, will approve the building for re-occupation.

You'll know when this is almost over when the shoring system is finally removed from Fremont Street. And when it returns to normal, the building will have been repaired. But what about other potential defects? 

"We've continued to work and look at all areas: structural steel, even the concrete to even the bolts to whatever and, to date, we've found nothing else," said Turchon.

A June opening is not out of the question but no date has been set. Who pays for the repairs and all the losses that have flowed from the closure of the massive building? The Transbay Authority says the "responsible" parties, whomever they turn out to be, will pay, even if a court has to order it.