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Release date: 4/29/10

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), has announced that the St. Francis Circle Rail Replacement Project will begin on Monday, May 17 and conclude in late summer. Prior to this date, preconstruction activity in the area will include installation of a temporary rail crossover on West Portal Avenue between 14th and 15th avenues during the weekend of May 8 – 9. Construction will require bus substitutions on the M Ocean View and the K Ingleside lines. Beginning Monday, May 17, the Muni bus substitutions and traffic changes will continue for the duration of the construction and will require traffic lane closures through the intersection.

“San Francisco’s infrastructure is at the core of our quality of life,” said SFMTA Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “The SFMTA will continue to aggressively prioritize keeping Muni in a state of good repair in order to provide safe and reliable service to our customers.”

St. Francis Circle is located at the intersection of Sloat Boulevard, Junipero Serra Boulevard, St. Francis Boulevard, Portola Drive and West Portal Avenue. The St. Francis Circle Rail Replacement Project is part of the SFMTA’s Capital Improvement Program that is aimed at repairing, renewing and replacing vital infrastructure, transit vehicles and systems to protect the public’s investment in the City’s surface transportation network. In addition to new rail for Muni, improvements to the surrounding area will include street base repair and asphalt pavement; traffic and rail signal system upgrading; crosswalk construction and pavement striping; curb ramps and pedestrian refuges; low level boarding islands and platforms for customers with disabilities; and an updated storm sewer system.

Muni Service Impacts

Muni service on the K Ingleside and M Ocean View lines and the 17 Parkmerced and 23 Monterey routes will be affected from May 17 to late summer as well as over the weekend of May 8 – 9. Buses will provide substitute service on the K Ingleside and M Ocean View lines between West Portal Station and the BART/Muni Balboa Park Station and will serve all regular stops. Some stops in the construction area may be temporarily relocated. Customers traveling from downtown will need to take any outbound K or L train and transfer from rail to bus at West Portal Station. The S Shuttle trains provided on Giants game days to ensure sufficient capacity in the subway will also take outbound customers to West Portal Station.

K Ingleside

K Line rail service will end at the stop at West Portal and 14th avenues and will return through the subway as T Line service. Substitute bus service will operate from West Portal Station to the Balboa Park Station. All K Line rail stops except for St. Francis Circle will be served by the K Ingleside Bus. Some temporary stops will be established including one at Lakeside Village.

M Ocean View

M Line rail service will not operate for the duration of the construction project. Substitute bus service will operate from West Portal Station to Balboa Park Station. All M Line rail stops except for St. Francis Circle and Ocean Avenue will be served by the M Ocean View Bus. Some temporary stops will be established including a stop at Stern Grove.

Substitute Muni bus service will display the rail line names with the word Bus: K Ingleside Bus and M Ocean View Bus. The substitute bus service will operate throughout construction. Those traveling through St. Francis Circle are advised to allow extra travel time.

Traffic and Parking Impacts

The intersection will remain open to through traffic during construction. Traffic will be impacted, however, as lanes will be reconfigured during each stage of construction. Motorists are advised to exercise caution while adjusting to the temporary lane reconfigurations. Motorists should also use adjacent streets or avoid the intersection if possible. Please allow extra time if traveling through the area.

A total of 104 parking spaces will be temporarily removed in seven different areas, including at the West Portal terminal, at St. Francis Circle, along 19th Avenue, on Sloat Boulevard and at the Balboa Park/BART terminal, for the duration of construction to provide adequate space for bus terminals and additional stops, and so shuttle buses can maneuver. Additional signage will be in place to direct West Portal shoppers to a neighborhood lot.

Construction Schedule

Construction hours are tentatively scheduled from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weekend work may occur from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Proceeding with construction seven days a week means the project can be completed as soon as possible.

SFMTA community outreach staff and Customer Service Ambassadors will be on hand beginning the week of May 3 at various locations of the construction area to assist Muni customers. Over the past eight months, SFMTA community outreach staff have held or participated in 13 community meetings, have made at least a half dozen rounds of telephone and e-mail updates to community organizations and sent 7,000 direct mail notifications to community members. In addition, SFMTA community outreach staff continues to walk through the communities surrounding the construction to alert neighbors and local merchants about the upcoming construction and Muni service changes. A dedicated Web page and e-mail address have been established to keep customers updated and provide a direct line of contact to the project manager. Printed brochures and signs are being posted on Muni vehicles. Customer communications also include electronic sig messages, newspaper advertisements and the Web site. All information is available in English, Chinese and Spanish and assistance in other languages is available by calling 311.

Most of Muni’s 70 miles of track is more than 30 years old. A robust schedule of key rehabilitation and replacement projects is necessary to ensure safe, reliable Muni service for generations to come. The SFMTA’s Rail Renewal Program, once completed, will provide a substantial state of good repair, reliability and safety improvements throughout the Muni metro system. The program consists of 10 key projects totaling over $141 million and covers track work on the Muni Metro lines.

To date, more than $78 million of this total has been expended on the following six projects:

  • M Line various segments
  • N Line various segments
  • K Line various segments
  • L Curves & Zoo Loop
  • West Portal interchange
  • Twin Peaks Tunnel

The remaining $63 million is committed to the following four projects:

  • Miscellaneous Rail Replacement (N, L & J lines)
  • Saint Francis Circle Rail Renewal (K & M Lines)
  • Duboce & Church Rail Renewal (J & N Lines)
  • Green Center Rail Renewal (All lines)

Of these four projects, the first two are in construction phases and the last two are in detailed design.

For information on substitute Muni bus service, traffic detours and construction updates, please visit or call 311.

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