CENTRAL SUBWAY: LEGAL OBJECTIONS TO PAGODA THEATER EXTRACTION OF TUNNEL BORING MACHINES (TBMs)

At the February 5, 2013 MTA Board meeting, SaveMuni.com submitted a letter from their Attorney, raising substantive concerns and legal objections to TBM extraction at the Pagoda Theater.  On the grounds set forth in the letter, SaveMuni.com objects to the realignment of the Central Subway, alteration of the TBM extraction terminus, new Conditional Use Applications and Zoning Map Amendments.  The new work requires a Subsequent or Supplement EIR, including evaluation of new geological impacts/ dewatering/ ground subsidence, nearby historic resources and the Subway’s extension to North Beach.

CHRONICLE:  “Central Subway foes fight Pagoda plan” 
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Central-Subway-foes-fight-Pagoda-plan-4253846.php

At a January 22, 2013 community meeting in North Beach, MTA Director Ed Reiskin assured concerned neighbors that the North Beach tunnel will be used only for TBM retrieval—not for equipment storage and delivery of materials to Chinatown.  Since the machines can be retrieved or buried at a significant cost savings in Chinatown, the sole rationale to tunnel to North Beach is to complete a majority of a northerly subway extension—without neighborhood engagement or environmental reviews.

SENSIBLE COST-SAVINGS OPTIONS
It is illogical to spend $54 million to $70 million for two 2,000 foot tunnels from Chinatown to North Beach—in order to save $4.5 million in TBM salvage value.  Instead, by stopping construction at Chinatown, cost savings from the Central Subway’s local funding can implement the 2003 Stockton Street Enhancement Project and parts of the 2003 Prop K Transit Priority Streets Program—improving Muni throughout northern/ western San Francisco and creating more jobs quicker.

TBMs ROUTINELY BURIED AND SHIFTED OUT OF THE WAY
Learning from best construction practices around the world, TBMs are frequently entombed and routinely placed in out-of-the-way locations if future line extensions are contemplated.  Other subway projects have negated disruptions to streets, traffic, transit, businesses and neighborhoods…

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