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Release date: 11/19/09

*** Press Release ***

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which operates the Municipal Railway (Muni), will resume track improvement work on the N Judah light rail line tomorrow at the intersections of Judah Street and 19th Avenue and Judah Street and Sunset Boulevard. The work will continue over two additional weekends and require the use of Muni bus shuttles on the N Judah Line from Duboce and Church to La Playa and the diversion of traffic off of Judah Street, 19th Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.

Nov. 14 – 16 was the first weekend of construction for this project. The work was originally scheduled to be completed by 5 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 16, but was delayed because the concrete used in the project did not harden as quickly as designed. The project team has consulted with the contractor to replace the concrete mix for all subsequent work. The SFMTA continues to coordinate with the contractor on an investigation of this issue. All concrete poured last weekend has been tested and certified as safe for light rail operation.

“The SFMTA appreciates the patience and cooperation of Muni customers and the surrounding community,” said SFMTA Executive Director/CEO Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. “The SFMTA will continue to aggressively prioritize the vital repairs and improvements of San Francisco’s transportation infrastructure 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.

The work for these two intersections will cost $2 million and is part of a larger, $18 million rail improvement project that will cover two Muni lines in addition to the N, the J Church and the L Taraval. Beginning early next year intersections along first the L Line and then the J Line 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.

On the weekends of Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, regular N Judah light rail service will end at Church and Duboce streets. From there, Muni bus shuttles will substitute for rail service to deliver Muni customers to the end of the line at Ocean Beach/La Playa. Customers can get on and off the shuttle bus at all regular N Line stops except those at 19th Avenue and Sunset Boulevard.

During construction hours, Judah Street will be closed to through traffic in both directions at 19th Avenue and Sunset Boulevard. Detour signs will guide drivers to alternate routes. Track work requires one direction to be closed on 19th Avenue and Sunset Boulevard at Judah Street. 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 and vice versa. This weekend, the closures will be northbound 19th Avenue and southbound Sunset Boulevard. Police officers will be on site detouring traffic onto parallel streets during the construction. Slow traffic is expected in the area. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes when possible.

Traffic Detour/Construction Schedule:

  • 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 20 – 5 a.m., Monday, Nov. 23
  • 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 4 – 5 a.m., Monday, Dec. 7

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 N Owl service will operate until 6 a.m., Saturday; 8 a.m., Sunday; and 4 a.m., Monday

Additional Muni routes affected:

  • 28 19th Avenue
  • 29 Sunset
  • 91 Owl
  • N Owl

SFMTA community outreach staff will be on hand Friday, Nov. 20 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Church and Duboce streets 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 3,500 direct mail notifications have been distributed to the community and Muni customers.

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

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