Central Subway tunnel boring machines will live on

By sfexaminer – excerpt

Tunnel-boring machines Big Alma and Mom Chung might be finished with Muni’s Central Subway project, but they have thousands of feet left in their arsenals. Upon refurbishment, they would be suitable for more local projects, such as extending the subway farther or building tunnels for BART’s extension to San Jose.

BART is currently building more track south from Fremont and into northern San Jose, with the goal of one day going into the downtown area. For a future project, 5 miles of the BART extension in San Jose would require underground tunneling, although designs are still being refined. If the refurbished Central Subway tunnel-boring machines meet the criteria for BART, they “certainly would be worth considering,” said Bernice Alaniz, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which is building the extension because it is out of BART’s district.

An extension of the Central Subway to Fisherman’s Wharf is being studied. But even if that moves forward, Big Alma and Mom Chung are not designed to make a turn that would be necessary for the project… (more)

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