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Release date: November 19, 2012

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees transportation in the city, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today advised residents and visitors of the Central Subway construction impacts during the holiday season.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, construction at some currently active Central Subway construction sites will pause, with roadways and pedestrian walkways restored to regular use. At other sites, construction of this major public transit improvement project will continue.

No construction will occur at any sites on Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

All Muni bus routes have been relocated off of Stockton Street south of Sutter Street and 4th Street north of King Street to accommodate Central Subway construction. These reroutes will remain in effect during the holiday season.

Access to local businesses, residences and driveways will be maintained. Central Subway staff 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.

Construction will take place at multiple locations on a staggered schedule. 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 (@ Central Subway) and on Instagram (username CentralSubway).

Union Square

Stockton Street between Ellis and Geary Streets, Ellis Street between Stockton and Powell Streets (Tunnel Preconstruction at Union Square/Market Street Station):

Construction will pause at the site of the future Union Square/Market Street Station. Stockton Street and Ellis Street will be paved and reopened to traffic by Thanksgiving Day.

This section of Stockton Street will be closed to traffic when construction at this location recommences in January 2013.

South of Market

4th Street between Bryant and Harrison Streets (Tunnel Launch Box)

At this site in SoMa, the contractor will continue working through the holiday season to construct a major excavation known as a launch box. This is the site where tunneling is planned to begin next year.

Construction impacts at this site are as follows:

  • 4th Street between Harrison and Bryant streets will be closed to all vehicle traffic. This closure, which began Nov. 2, will be in effect for approximately three months.
  • The on-ramp to westbound I-80 at 4th and Harrison streets may be closed on weeknights from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday.
  • The sidewalk on the west side of the street will be closed. The sidewalk on the east side of the street will remain open to pedestrians.
  • Construction hours are 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

4th Street between Harrison and Folsom Streets (Tunnel Preconstruction):

On this block the contractor will be excavating shallow trenches on the east side of the road. Pipes will then be installed in the ground to be used for ground improvement along the tunnel alignment. Work is planned to start in December 2012 and continue through February 2013.

Construction impacts at this site are as follows:

  • The easternmost lane of traffic (left lane for southbound traffic) may be closed during limited times within construction hours.
  • No pedestrian impacts are anticipated.
  • Construction hours are Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

4th Street between Folsom and Howard Streets (Tunnel Preconstruction at Yerba Buena/Moscone Station Site):

Construction of below-ground walls, called headwalls, is underway at the site in SoMa of the future Yerba Buena/Moscone Station. Construction will continue through the holiday season.

  • At least three lanes on 4th Street will be open to vehicle traffic between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day during construction hours (Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.).
  • The sidewalk on the western side of the street may be impacted. Pedestrian detours will be provided, and access to all businesses will be maintained.
  • Night work may occur between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. During these hours, this block may be reduced to two lanes of traffic.


Stockton Street between Sacramento and Vallejo Streets (Installation of Subsurface Monitoring Instruments):

In Chinatown construction will commence in December to install subsurface monitoring instruments related to the Central Subway tunnel. Construction will occur within several small construction sites along this section of Stockton Street.

  • One lane on Stockton Street may be closed during construction hours in the vicinity of the construction zones. Lane closures will impact traffic on up to two approximately half-block sections of Stockton Street at a time.
  • Crosswalks and sidewalks may be impacted; pedestrian traffic lanes will be created during periods of sidewalk or crosswalk disruption.
  • Work hours are Monday to Friday, 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

North Beach

Columbus Avenue between Union and Filbert Streets (Utility Relocation for Tunnel Boring Machine Retrieval Shaft):

This construction site will be paved and reopened to traffic by Thanksgiving Day.

Central Subway crews will not be working in this area during the holiday season; however, AT&T may be performing work related to the Central Subway. AT&T’s work will involve a crew of approximately two people working inside manholes. No street excavation will occur as part of AT&T’s work.

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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