Fre­mont Street may re­open Wed­nes­day as work­ers in­stall tran­sit cen­ter sup­port beams

Au­thor­i­ties have yet to say what led to cracks in two steel gird­ers at city’s $2.2B trans­porta­tion hub

The Mercury News - - Movie Guide - By Erin Bal­das­sari ebal­das­sari@ ba­yare­anews­ Con­tact Erin Bal­das­sari at 510-208-6428.

SAN FRAN­CISCO >> Fre­mont Street in San Fran­cisco will re­main closed un­til Wed­nes­day as crews con­tinue shoring the Sales­force Tran­sit Cen­ter af­ter work­ers dis­cov­ered cracks in two steel beams last month.

The new, $2.2 bil­lion tran­sit cen­ter closed Sept. 25, just 6 ½ weeks af­ter it opened fol­low­ing nearly a decade of con­struc­tion in down­town San Fran­cisco.

Au­thor­i­ties closed the build­ing af­ter work­ers in­stalling ceil­ing pan­els dis­cov­ered a 2 ½-foot crack in a struc­tural sup­port beam.

The beam, which is on the third floor of the build­ing and si­mul­ta­ne­ously sup­ports the roof deck above it and the bus deck be­low it, strad­dles Fre­mont Street. Sub­se­quent in­spec­tions re­vealed a sec­ond crack in an ad­ja­cent beam.

Work­ers first in­stalled a se­ries of jacks to take weight off the two beams, and they are now in­stalling sup­port beams to re­place the jacks, au­thor­i­ties said last week.

Work on the street level of Fre­mont Street is com­plete, of­fi­cials with the Trans­bay Joint Pow­ers Au­thor­ity said in a state­ment Wed­nes­day. The au­thor­ity is re­spon­si­ble for de­sign­ing, con­struct­ing and main­tain­ing the build­ing.

The com­plex shoring sys­tem, which runs through all four lev­els of the build­ing, in­clud­ing the two be­low-grade lev­els, is tak­ing longer than ex­pected to com­plete, with work con­tin­u­ing through the week­end and into early next week, au­thor­i­ties said.

“It is im­por­tant that we have an ex­tremely ro­bust shoring sys­tem to en­sure that all lev­els of the tran­sit cen­ter are safe and se­cure,” Mark Za­baneh, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Trans­bay Joint Pow­ers Au­thor­ity, said in a state­ment. “Un­for­tu­nately, this re­quires us to keep the street closed un­til this work is com­plete. We will re­open Fre­mont Street as soon as safely pos­si­ble and apol­o­gize for the on­go­ing im­pact to the pub­lic.”

The au­thor­ity has yet to re­lease in­for­ma­tion about what caused the two beams to crack. The beams used Amer­i­can-made steel and were fab­ri­cated by the highly-re­garded Stock­ton-based com­pany Her­rick Corp., which worked on the Transamer­ica Pyra­mid, 181 Fre­mont Street and Sales­force Tower in San Fran­cisco.

Den­nis Tur­chon, a se­nior con­struc­tion man­ager for the Trans­bay Joint Pow­ers Au­thor­ity, told re­porters last week test­ing would be­gin once it was safe for work­ers to take sam­ples of the cracked beams. An in­de­pen­dent peer re­view panel will as­sess the re­sults of that test­ing be­fore a fi­nal fix is put in place.

While Fre­mont Street could open as early as Wed­nes­day, there’s no es­ti­ma­tion yet when the tran­sit cen­ter will re­open. For now, bus rid­ers are us­ing the same tem­po­rary ter­mi­nal that was in place dur­ing con­struc­tion.

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