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Salesforce Transit Center – Nine Months Later

We have followed the issues at Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco since structural cracks were discovered and the newly opened 1.2 million square foot facility was closed to the public in September of 2018.

In a major move to protect the public and to ensure a “fix” for the two defective girders spanning major thoroughfares, the cracked girders were shored up until a suitable fix could be found. Materials samples were taken and shipped to a materials lab for analysis, drawings were reviewed, change orders and attendant shop drawings were reviewed. A panel of experts was assembled to review the construction and to oversee the determination of fault and to help find and make a “fix” for the issues.

After the analysis was complete, it was determined that two splints would be manufactured that would be bolted to the subject girders and to any other similar conditions where the 5-acre park and suspended bus transit center might be endangered. As part of the due diligence for the repairs, the owner, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority took the recommendation of the structural and materials engineers and ordered a full review of the facility to determine the quality of the workmanship throughout the facility. Sprayed on fireproofing can cover a “multitude of sins” as one of my mentors told me. The TJPA has ordered fireproofing removed along certain grid lines in the structure to determine whether the quality of the steel manufacturing and erection meets the specs and the quality expected.

After all the testing is completed, the facility, the panel’s and the peer review findings will be reviewed, the TJPA will approve the repairs and the facility will be reopened. To date, the shoring has been removed, the splints are in place and the major streets that surround the facility are open for business during the day. Night closures continue and repairs are continuing.

Nine months after it was closed, according to a recent article in The Mercury News and ENR, there has been no date set for the re-opening of the facility. Not clear is the final schedule for the re-opening. Also unclear is the disposition of the three lawsuits assigning blame for the failures. While the court consolidated the three lawsuits into one, the is no court schedule set for the hearings.