Negotiations, approvals still await Muni’s plans to extract Central Subway tools

By: Will Reisman : SFExaminer – excerpt

While Muni negotiates with a North Beach property owner on how it will remove boring tools for the Central Subway project, major planning and approval decisions regarding the controversial extraction process await.
Outrage among residents and merchants over plans to remove the machines at Columbus Avenue led the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which operates Muni, to propose taking out the equipment at the Pagoda Palace, a derelict former movie theater.:…  (more)

CENTRAL SUBWAY/ PAGODA THEATER COMMUNITY MEETING

CENTRAL SUBWAY/ PAGODA THEATER COMMUNITY MEETING

TUESDAY, JANUARY 22, 2013, 6:30PM

Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center, 660 Lombard St. (Columbus & Powell)

ANNOUNCEMENT:  http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c178f3dd9100b6963a6cf2cea&id=b683f2f23f&e=8676f27def

EVERYONE AGREES that North Beach merchants and neighbors need not suffer economic losses because the Central Subway stops 2,000 feet away in Chinatown (Stockton & Washington Streets).  In 2005, the northerly tunnel extension from Chinatown was a political decision—to gain support from organizations who criticized the Central Subway’s high costs for small benefits (which is still true).  The northerly tunnel variant was never discussed with North Beach—because it was only an option.  And SFMTA was careful to avoid meeting with North Beach organizations.

LATEST PROPOSAL is to lease the Pagoda Theater for 2 years for TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines) extraction—demolishing the building and creating a Special Use District for the owner’s development project.  SEE ATTACHED ORDINANCE. 

EXAMINER:  “Negotiations, approvals still await Muni’s plans to extract Central Subway tools”

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/transportation/2013/01/negotiations-approvals-still-await-muni-s-plans-extract-central-subway

MORE QUESTIONS need to be answered because many merchants will still suffer. 

  • As stated in the Project Specifications, will the tunnel in North Beach/ Pagoda Theater be used to move materials/ equipment to the Chinatown construction site?  What deliveries, storage and street-use will be required?  For how long?
  • How will adjacent buildings and streets be protected?
  • Will vertical ventilation shafts and exit shafts be required?
  • Why not bury TBMs in the ground at Chinatown—saving $21-$70 million that can implement the 2003 Stockton Street Transit Improvement Project and improve transit throughout the northeast quadrant?

KEEP OPEN OPTIONS FOR BURYING TBMs

New York City’s new subway construction is leaving TBMs in the ground for cost-savings.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/25/nyregion/deep-below-park-avenue-a-200-ton-drill-at-rest.html?_r=1&src=un&feedurl=http://json8.nytimes.com/pages/nyregion/index.jsonp  

http://www.mta.info/news/stories/?story=320

In 2005, the original Central Subway design was to retrieve TBMs at Chinatown (Stockton & Clay Streets).

Also, tunneling reduces high risk construction and cost overruns.  The older historic districts of North Beach, Chinatown and Downtown are extremely susceptible to unstable ground conditions.

COLOGNE BUILDING COLLAPSE: 

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/cologne-archive-catastrophe-were-subway-builders-cautious-enough-a-612129.html

http://www.theage.com.au/world/fears-for-missing-three-after-building-collapse-in-germany-20090304-8ogm.html

SAO PAULO SUBWAY’S DEADLY COLLAPSE

http://enr.construction.com/news/transportation/archives/070129a.asp

KOREAN SUBWAY TUNNEL COLLAPSE

http://kojects.com/2012/02/20/subway-construction-suspected-in-incheon-street-collapse/

Regards, Howard Wong, AIA

www.SaveMuni.com