Mayor Gavin Newsom recently joined the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and numerous elected and community leaders to ceremoniously break ground on the Central Subway project.

San Francisco’s central subway project receives federal backing

When service begins in 2018, this 1.7-mi extension of the existing Third Street light rail line will connect communities from Visitacion Valley to Chinatown.

In January, construction began with work to relocate utilities that currently reside within the footprint of the future Moscone Station and the portal under the I-80 freeway where a tunnel boring machine will go underground. The $9.3-million utilities relocation work is being performed by the San Francisco firm Synergy Project Management, Inc., with completion expected by the end of this year.

The project received a positive review as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program with a Medium-High project justification rating and Medium-High overall rating. In addition, the president’s FY2011 U.S. Department of Transportation budget for the first time included a specific funding recommendation—$20 million to support ongoing design work for the project. Three final design contracts for the project are either awarded or in the final stages of negotiation.

The first design package has been awarded to Parsons Brinckerhoff and Telamon (a joint venture) for architectural and engineering services. This contract is for $5.7 million.

The second design package was awarded to PB, Michael Willis Architects, Inc. and Kwan Henmi Architects and Planners (a joint venture) for $39 million with final approval from the Board of Supervisors pending.

The third design package is under consideration for award with the SFMTA board (next board meeting) to HNTB Corp. and B&C Transit, Inc. (a joint venture) for $32 million.

Recent estimates indicate that the Central Subway will support between 37,000 and 43,000 jobs over the life of the project.