SFMTA gives tour of new Central Subway project

San Francisco's Central Subway has a new director who will be looking at where the project stands now and how long it will take to finish.

The new project manager will be taking a hard look at just how the Central Subway project is going-- and will give a better idea of when it will be done.

Beneath busy Union Square crews are working on San Francisco's Central Subway Project.

The $1.6B project that runs 1.7 miles will connect Chinatown to South of Market.

But it has fallen behind schedule.

The project was initially set to open in 2018, but has been plagued with slowdowns, including construction delays at the Chinatown station, and a contractor initially laying down the wrong kind of steel tracks.

The latest estimated completion date was pegged for February 2020.

Today the city's municipal transportation agency offered a tour of the work underway.

Nadeem Tahir, the new project director, says he will look to see where the central subway project stands now.

"My first priority besides everything else is to look and to see how much time it will take to finish this job and start running the trains,” said Tahir.

Underground the main stairway and elevator shaft leading to the station is taking shape as is the massive underground station.

What's hard to get a sense of with all this construction is the scale of this project.

The station spans hundreds of feet and passengers will eventually be able to walk from Union Square to the Powell Street station underground.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's acting director Tom Maguire says the project has been slowed by the difficulties of building in the city.

"Construction in San Francisco is hard," said Maguire.

"We're building underneath Chinatown, we're building underneath Stockton Street, which is only 3 lanes wide. And as we build we're trying to make sure these neighborhoods around Chinatown, Union Square continue to thrive."

The new project manager tells us it will take him six weeks to see where the project stands and offer his assessment on when it will be done.