Work is marching forward on the estimated $4.5 billion Transbay Transit Center project in Downtown San Francisco. In recent days the lower level concourse continues to take shape, the bus ramp foundation between the Bay Bridge and the Transit Center is progressing, and the first section of structural steel is now standing tall and moving closer toward First Street.

The structural steel, which emerged from the ground last November, is scheduled to complete in mid-2016. More than 22,000 tons of steel will be used to construct the Transit Center, all of which was supplied and fabricated domestically in accordance with the project’s Buy America status. Production facilities in 19 states from Washington to Delaware to Florida have been involved in providing the steel for the Transit Center, including a number of California facilities.

Project officials said in November that roughly 3,000 construction jobs associated with the steel production were created on the job. The transit center features an innovative design that requires many different types of steel elements, some single pieces as large as 130,000 pounds.

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The steel erection, led by Skanska, is being assisted by two Liebherr LR1300 SX crawler cranes. Each crane has a 134-ft main boom and a 105-ft luffing jib, which, when combined, are taller than San Francisco's iconic Coit Tower.

While steel construction continues, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (TJPA) is soliciting applications from Bay Area residents for seven full-term, 2-year seats, and two mid-term 1-year seats on the TJPA Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC). Applications for the seats are due March 6, 2015. The TJPA’s Citizens Advisory Committee was created to advise the TJPA Board of Directors on matters of public interest relating to the Transbay Transit Center Project.

The project also announced this week that the Bus Ramp portion is on schedule, with the ramp's foundation taking shape. The ramp, slated for a late 2017 completion, will connect the new transportation facility’s elevated bus deck directly to the Bay Bridge. When finished, the Transbay Transit Center will accommodate approximately 100,000 travelers daily.

Throughout this month, crews will be demolishing part of the westbound I-80 Fremont Street off-ramp to make way for the new designated bus ramp. Work includes Cast-In Drilled Hole (CIDH) pile work, along with assembly and installation of rebar cages and associated concrete.

Also known as the “Grand Central Station of the West,” the Transbay Transit Center will help transform the city's South of Market neighborhood into the new heart of downtown. The Transit Center will connect eight Bay Area counties and 11 transit systems, including future High Speed Rail.

Phase 1 of the Transbay Transit Center, scheduled to open in late 2017, will create a new five-story Transit Center with one above-grade bus level, ground-floor, concourse, and two below-grade rail levels serving Caltrain and future California High Speed Rail. Phase I will also create new bus ramps that will connect the Transit Center to a new off-site bus storage facility and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects (PCPA), the center will feature a 5.4 acre park on the roof of the bus and rail station. A complementary transit tower designed by PCPA and developed by Hines will be built adjacent to the Transit Center and will provide additional financing for the project. The project replaces the former Transbay Terminal at First and Mission streets in San Francisco.