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Release date: 1/4/10

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), has announced the continuation of track improvement work in the Sunset district. Weekend work on the L Taraval light rail line will begin on Jan. 8 at the intersections of Taraval Street and 19th Avenue and Taraval Street and Sunset Boulevard. The work will continue over two additional weekends and require the use of Muni bus shuttles on the L Taraval from West Portal Station to the Zoo and the diversion of traffic off of Taraval Street, 19th Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. This works follows the successful completion of track improvement work on the N Judah line in December.

“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 these vital repairs and improvements in order to provide safe and reliable Muni service to our customers.”

Worn pavement and rails in these heavily traveled intersections require the replacement of rail and repaving of the intersections to keep the tracks in good working condition. In addition to replacing and repairing aging Muni tracks and components, the project will include long-overdue enhancements to the surrounding area such as street repaving and re-striping, sidewalk improvements and upgraded water lines.

On the weekends of Jan. 8, 15 and 22, regular L Taraval light rail service will end at West Portal Station. From there, Muni bus shuttles will substitute for rail service to deliver Muni customers to the end of the line at 46th Avenue and Vicente Street. Customers can get on and off the shuttle bus at all regular L Line stops except stops near the construction sites.

During construction hours, Taraval Street will be closed to through traffic in both directions at 19th Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. Detour signs will guide drivers to alternate routes.

The track work requires one direction of traffic to be closed on 19th Avenue and Sunset Boulevard at Judah Street during the construction. The closures on 19th Avenue and Sunset Boulevard will be coordinated, i.e. when the northbound lanes of 19th Avenue are closed, the northbound direction of Sunset will be opened. The closures will start with southbound 19th Avenue and northbound Sunset Boulevard this weekend. Police officers will detour traffic onto parallel streets. Slow traffic is expected in the area. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes when possible.

Traffic Detour/Construction Schedule:

  • 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 8 – 5 a.m., Monday, Jan. 11
  • 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15 – 5 a.m., Monday, Jan. 18
  • 7 p.m., Friday, Jan 22 – 5 a.m., Monday, Jan. 25

Muni Bus Shuttle Schedule:

  • 8 p.m., Friday – 1 a.m., Saturday
  • 6 a.m., Saturday – 1 a.m., Sunday
  • 8 a.m., Sunday – 1 a.m., Monday

Note: The L Owl service will operate until 6 a.m., Saturday; 8 a.m., Sunday; and 4 a.m., Monday

SFMTA community outreach staff will be on hand Friday, Jan. 8 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at West Portal Station to assist Muni customers. They have also made presentations to community groups and walked through the communities surrounding the intersections to alert neighbors and local merchants to the upcoming construction. In addition, brochures, signs in Muni vehicles and 5,000 direct mail notifications have been distributed to the community and Muni customers.

The work for these two intersections will cost $2 million and is part of a larger, $18 million rail improvement project that will cover three Muni lines: the L, the N Judah and the J Church. Later this year intersections along the J Church will also receive new rails, repaired street pavement and other transportation improvements. These improvements go beyond the tracks to include new overhead wire poles, new curb ramps and new Muni train signal priority devices.

Most of Muni’s 70 miles of track work 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. Each fiscal year, the SFMTA allocates between $7.5 and $10 million for its Rail Program to maintain and improve the infrastructure of the Muni system.

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

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