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Release date: December 28, 2012

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today announced that traffic modifications on Stockton and Ellis streets near Union Square will recommence to accommodate construction of the Central Subway tunnel.

Beginning Wednesday, January 2, Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets will be closed to all vehicles except emergency vehicles. Ellis Street between Stockton Street and the Ellis-O’Farrell Garage will be closed to westbound traffic.

This section of Stockton Street is planned to remain closed throughout the duration of Central Subway construction around Union Square.

Access to local businesses, residences and driveways will be maintained. The Central Subway team will continue to work closely with communities, local businesses and organizations to inform them of construction impacts and to ensure that appropriate mitigation measures are in place.

Frequent construction updates, including information about traffic, Muni and pedestrian impacts, will be available online on the Central Subway blog (, on Twitter (@Central_Subway), on Facebook ( and on Instagram: (username CentralSubway).

Transit Impacts

  • The 38/38L Geary may experience delays around Union Square.
  • The 30 Stockton, 45 Union/Stockton, 8X/8AX/8BX Bayshore Express and 91 Owl began re-routing this year around major construction sites in Union Square and SoMa. These re-routes will continue throughout the duration of Central Subway construction.
  • It is anticipated that the Ellis Street entrance to the Powell Street Muni Metro/BART Station will be closed in January. More information about this closure will be made available soon.

Traffic Impacts

  • Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets will be closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles.
  • Ellis Street between Stockton Street and the Ellis-O’Farrell Garage will be closed to westbound traffic. One lane will remain open to eastbound traffic. Vehicles exiting the garage will be able to turn left or right onto Ellis Street.
  • Southbound Stockton Street traffic traveling toward SoMa will be directed to the following suggested detour: east onto Post Street, south onto Montgomery Street, cross Market Street and continue onto New Montgomery Street.
  • To access westbound I-80, continue on New Montgomery Street to Howard Street, turn west onto Howard Street, turn south onto Hawthorne Street and turn west onto Harrison Street.
  • Southbound Stockton Street traffic traveling to Union Square will be directed as follows: turn east onto Post Street, turn south onto Grant Avenue and turn west onto Geary Street.
  • Stockton Street will remain open to cross traffic at O’Farrell and Geary streets, but temporary lane closures near the intersections may be required.
  • Variable message signs and detour signs will be in place.
  • Traffic control officers and flaggers will be on site to direct traffic as appropriate.

Pedestrian Impacts

  • Sidewalks on Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary streets will remain open, but they may be narrowed to facilitate construction.
  • Temporary closures of the crosswalk that crosses Stockton Street on the south side of Geary Street may be required.

About the Central Subway Project

The Central Subway Project will extend the T Third Line from the 4th Street Caltrain Station to Chinatown, providing a direct, rapid transit link from the Bayshore and Mission Bay areas to SoMa and downtown. Four new stations will be built along the 1.7-mile Central Subway Project alignment – a street-level station and three subway stations.

Travel times through this busy corridor will be significantly reduced by the Central Subway. During peak hours, travel between Stockton and Washington streets and 4th and King streets now takes more than 20 minutes on Muni bus routes. On the Central Subway, the same trip will take less than eight minutes.

The Central Subway Project is the second phase of the SFMTA’s Third Street Light Rail Transit Project. The first segment of the T Third Line opened in April 2007, restoring light rail service to a high transit-ridership area of San Francisco for the first time in 50 years.

The $1.6 billion project will be funded using a variety of federal, state and local sources, including $942.2 million from the federal New Starts program. Of the total New Starts investment, $177.4 million has already been awarded to the Central Subway Project, and a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) was awarded in October 2012.

The Central Subway is expected to open to the public in 2019. For more information, visit us online at

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