Salesforce Transit Center To Remain Closed Following Discovery Of Second Cracked Beam
San Francisco's new Salesforce Transit Center, not even two months old, shut down Tuesday after a crack was discovered in one of the steel beams and will remain closed at least through the end of next week after a second crack was found in a nearby beam during an inspection Tuesday night, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
A workman discovered the first cracked beam on the $2.2B center while installing ceiling panels on the roof of the third-floor bus platform on Tuesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. That beam is a load-bearing beam, ABC7 reports.
The cracked beams support the bus deck and rooftop park and were last inspected after the final installation in 2016, according to ABC7. The center and a section of Fremont Street were closed off Tuesday afternoon.
Buses have been rerouted to a temporary terminal at Howard and Main streets, but the closure of Fremont Street between Mission and Howard streets could make peak commute times particularly hairy. The Transbay Joint Powers Authority asked motorists to avoid driving downtown and for transit riders to allow extra time for their commutes. Bay Area Rapid Transit plans to run long trains as well.
The closing comes at an inopportune time as Salesforce welcomes 170,000 people this week to its annual Dreamforce convention at Moscone Center. Dreamforce has already caused the closure of Howard Street between Third and Fourth streets, compounding the problem, the Chronicle reports.
The new Salesforce Tower sits beside the transit center, and Salesforce owns naming rights to the center and its rooftop park.
In tweeting about the indefinite closure, Supervisor Jane Kim noted, "Yes, it's not lost upon me that it's #TransitWeek. It's even more important this week to ride + highlight the work that needs to get done."
The TJPA plans to shore up the beams where Fremont Street runs beneath the transit center so that it can be reopened to traffic. Then bus service will follow.
Once that is taken care of, a permanent repair will be designed and scheduled, the TJPA reports.
The cracks appear to be a localized issue, Transbay Joint Powers Authority Executive Director Mark Zabaneh said on Tuesday and Wednesday. The second crack is in a nearby beam and no cause has been determined for either crack, according to the Chronicle. The agency said it would use ultrasonic testing to determine the extent of the damage.
The TJPA is working with Webcor and Obayashi, which built the center, and structural engineers Thornton Tomasetti to investigate and repair the damage, the agency stated. No other damaged beams were discovered during the inspection, including along First Street where a similar design is used. The agency will continue to monitor and test that area as well.
“We apologize for this inconvenience to the public and commuters. The safety of everyone who visits the Salesforce Transit Center is our highest priority and we will work expeditiously to address and rectify this situation," Zabaneh said.
UPDATE, SEPT. 26, 7:14 P.M. PT: The story has been updated to reflect the second cracked beam discovered overnight, continued closure of the transit center and plans to shore up and eventually repair the beams.