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Release date: Sept. 13, 2011

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which oversees all surface transportation in the City, including the Municipal Railway (Muni), today announced that the initial notice to proceed (NTP) authorization for the Central Subway’s largest construction contract, $233.5 million, will be issued this week. Thus far, the project will bring in nearly $90 million to local businesses and create thousands of job opportunities.

“The Central Subway project is vital to connecting our City center to San Francisco’s communities,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “This project invests in jobs, people and our City with critical infrastructure that will improve transportation for generations to come. I am especially pleased that the amount for the tunneling contract is $13.2 million under budget.”

“The momentum continues to build for San Francisco’s Central Subway Project because it will expand transit options in the heart of the City,” said Tom Nolan, Chairman of the SFMTA Board of Directors. “The City’s transportation infrastructure serves as the lifeblood of our expanding industries as well as our vibrant neighborhoods and the residents, visitors and employees that support them.”

“The completion of the T Third Light Rail Project with the Central Subway represents an investment in the future of San Francisco,” said Edward D. Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “This tunnelling contract is a major part of opening a dynamic new era in rapid transit for the people of San Francisco and especially for those traveling along the congested Stockton Street corridor.”

This week the SFMTA will move forward with the first of three NTP authorizations for the tunneling contract, awarded in June. This NTP allows the contractor to proceed with ordering the two tunnel boring machines (TBM) needed to construct the twin bore tunnels for the underground portion of the Central Subway Project. The contract has three distinct NTP authorizations: NTP 1 ($35M) authorizes procurement of the TBMs, NTP 2 ($36M) authorizes construction of the tunnel launch box and contractor’s work area and NTP 3 ($163M) authorizes commencement of tunneling, which includes construction of approximately 8,240-foot long precast concrete segmental lined twin-bored guideway tunnels, construction of five emergency cross passages between bored tunnels and construction of station end walls.

A construction approach called “deep tunneling” will be used to construct the Central Subway. Deep tunneling allows most of the work to be done below ground, reducing disruption on the surface by using the TBMs, a technology that has been used extensively throughout the world. Deep tunneling has great potential for controlling project costs by minimizing surface construction staging, reducing utility relocations and shortening construction time. The only visible tunneling activity will occur at the portal construction location (4th Street between Bryant and Harrison streets) and at the excavation site (Columbus Avenue at Union Street).

The second utility relocation contract began this spring and is underway on Stockton Street to prepare for construction of the Union Square/Market Street Station. For additional information and updates on the Central Subway Project, please visit

Central Subway business outreach, conducted at more than 60 events and in collaboration with nearly 50 partners, has resulted in more than $115 million in contract awards combined for local (LBE), disadvantaged (DBE) or small business enterprises (SBE) to date. In fact six of the 11 prime contractors working on the Central Subway Project are certified as SBE, DBE or LBE.

The SFMTA is committed to encouraging the economic growth of small and local businesses through this project by providing contractor assistance in the form of outreach and bid preparation training. Also, unbundling contracts, a bonding and financing assistance program, small business set-aside programs and active monitoring of prompt payment ensure that the SFMTA provides opportunities to small businesses. On the upcoming tunnel contract, 12 to 18 percent of the total contract is anticipated to be performed by small business enterprises, which is more than twice the six percent goal for the project.

For employment training and job placement for non-construction jobs on the Central Subway project, the SFMTA works with the First Source Hiring program and places disadvantaged trainees with the prime and subcontractors. On construction contracts, the SFMTA implements the federal goals for women and minorities for each trade as well as state apprenticeship requirements. The SFMTA does this by working with First Source and CityBuild to provide referrals to contractors.

Visit to learn more about employment or contracting opportunities with the Central Subway Project.

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