TIMELINE: A look at the Salesforce Transit Center closure in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Following eight years of construction, the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco was shut down a little more than six weeks after opening when a cracked beam was discovered on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. A second cracked beam was found the next day. Fremont Street was closed between Mission and Howard Streets where it crosses underneath the center. Bus service was re-routed to the Temporary Transbay Terminal.

Here's a timeline of events during this closure.

Sunday, August 11, 2019
AC Transit service returned to the Transit Center, rolling buses onto the third floor which hasn't seen any travelers since September. AC Transit provided ambassadors to help direct passengers to and from the bus deck. The Temporary Transbay Terminal, located on Howard Street between Beale and Main Street, is now closed and fenced off. It's been one year since the Transit Center held its original grand opening party.


Monday, July 22, 2019
Today AC Transit announced it will resume service at the Transit Center on Sunday, August 11, which happens to be the Center's one year anniversary. AC Transit buses will use the dedicated bus ramp that connects the Bay Bridge with the third floor of the Center, allowing buses to bypass surface streets and all the traffic on them.


Tuesday, July 9, 2019
The first transit service will return to the Transit Center on Saturday, July 13, the SFMTA announced today. Muni bus lines 5 Fulton, 5R Fulton Rapid, 7 Haight, 38 Geary, and 38R Geary Rapid will move from the Temporary Transbay Terminal to the Salesforce Transit Center's bus plaza, which is on street level. There is still no bus service on the third floor bus deck of the Transit Center.

Monday, July 1, 2019
The Salesforce Transit Center officially reopened today, after 278 days of closure, without any transit service. Bus service continues to use the Temporary Transbay Terminal a block away. The rooftop park area is now accessible to the public and programs that use the roof as a venue have resume. For the first time, the gondola that connects the park with Salesforce Plaza is open to the public.



Thursday, June 27, 2019
When the Salesforce Transit Center reopens on Monday, the gondola will open to the public for the first time. It provides direct access from Salesforce Park, the area in front of Salesforce Tower, to the rooftop garden atop the Transit Center. The gondola will operate from 8AM until 8PM daily through October 31, and from 8AM to 7PM daily between November 1 and April 30.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
No update.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
In a tweet today, the Transit Center confirms that bus service will not resume on Monday, when the Center officially reopens. Transit agencies have not been able to provide ABC7 News with a timeline of when buses will move from the Temporary Transbay Terminal to the Transit Center.


Monday, June 24, 2019
The Transit Center is scheduled to reopen in one week.


Thursday, June 13, 2019
At today's Transbay Joint Powers Authority board meeting, more details were revealed about the timing to restore service to the Transit Center. Even though the Center is slated to open on July 1, it will be August when the third floor bus deck will be available for full operations. That's the deck that AC Transit and other bus services use. Muni uses the street level bus plaza and the TJPA says that will be available to them next week.
The new rooftop pathway has been installed. The original path was already in need of repairs. Other work, like installing ceiling panels, crosswalks, and traffic signals, is ongoing.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
A letter by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission released today reveals that its Peer Review Panel agrees with the Transbay Joint Powers Authority that the Salesforce Transit Center is safe to reopen. Today is the 259th day the Center has been closed. The TJPA has set July 1 as the date to reopen the Transit Center.
However, bus service may take a little longer to restore. The TJPA says Muni and Golden Gate Transit will resume using "the street level bus plaza in early July". AC Transit, Greyhound, and Westcat Lynx buses use the third floor of the Transit Center, and that service is likely "to resume in late summer 2019 following operator training and rider notice".


Wednesday, May 22, 2019
The Peer Review panel, which will give the final approval of the Transit Center repairs, is meeting this week. A decision on when the Center will reopen could come Friday at the earliest, but may take a few more weeks.

Thursday, May 9, 2019
At a Transbay Joint Powers Authority meeting today, the board revealed that all repair and reinforcement work is complete at the Salesforce Transit Center. An independent review panel still needs to look over the work, and only after that will a reopening date be announced.
Even while closed, the Transit Center is a busy place. Crews are putting back overhead lights and ceiling panels that were taken down during the repair work, and getting ready to install traffic signals and paint crosswalks. The rooftop park pathway will be replaced with concrete, starting this month.

Monday, Apr. 29, 2019
Temporary power shutdowns at the Transit Center will activate the fire alarm and public address system both today and tomorrow, Tuesday, Apr. 30.

Friday, Apr. 26, 2019
The barriers have been removed from Fremont Street now that the temporary shoring system has been removed.


Thursday, Apr. 25, 2019
An update from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority posted today reveals no new information. It reiterates that an opening date for the center will be set once all repair work has been reviewed.


Wednesday, Apr. 24, 2019
The pathway along the rooftop deck of the Transit Center needs to be replaced because it is beyond repair. Replacement could cost up to $1 million. Repairs started on the path even before the Transit Center opened last August.

Friday, Apr. 19, 2019
Repairs on the Fremont Street section will be complete by the end of the weekend, according to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, and the temporary shoring that has held up the Center and blocked part of the street will be removed. Taking down the shoring system means closing the block of Fremont Street which runs underneath the Transit Center, between Howard and Mission Streets, from 9pm to 5am starting on Sunday, Apr. 21. These overnight closures are expected to last one month.

Similar work needs to be completed on the First Street side of the Center. All work is scheduled to be completed by June 1. There is no date set to reopen the Transit Center, which has now been closed for 206 days.

Thursday, Apr. 11, 2019
At today's meeting of the TJPA board, some good news was revealed. There has been more interest in renting out retail space in the Transit Center.

So far, nine leases have been signed by SF Fitness, Onsite Dental, Venga Empanadas, Charleys Philly Steaks, Per Diem, Tycoon Thai, and Eddie Rickenbacker's. Philz Coffee has plans for two locations within the Transit Center. All stores are still being built and the first is scheduled to open in August. There are 36 retail spaces available at the Center which are expected to bring in $5.5 million in rent annually.

Caltrain presented options for extending service into the Transit Center, with various scenarios dependent on how much ridership increases over the next several years. The extension to the Transit Center would be considered a new Caltrain zone and would incur a surcharge of $2.50. The current zone upgrade is $2.25.

The board also presented a detailed timeline of the repair progress. The permanent fix is set to be installed on Fremont Street starting April 17. The repair process will begin on First Street on May 1st. Repairs are expected to be complete by June 1. Crews are also completing other work that includes installing ceiling panels, traffic signals, and building management systems. The temporary shoring that blocks part of First and Fremont Streets should be removed in May. Still, no date has been set yet to reopen the Center.

The next board meeting is May 14.

Wednesday, Apr. 10, 2019
The steel plates needed to repair the broken beams have arrived. Repairs are now expected to be completed by June 1.

Friday, Mar. 29, 2019
An update from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority today says that repairs are due to be finished in the first week of June. The next board meeting will be held on April 11 and that will provide a "comprehensive update".

Thursday, Mar. 14, 2019
At today's TJPA board meeting, transit officials say they're investigating how construction crews missed signs of cracking in the Transit Center. Engineers confirmed what had been reported earlier - microcracks that appeared during construction spread during the welding process, eventually turning into the larger crack which led to the closure of the Center. Project directors say construction companies working on the project were ultimately responsible for quality control.

Friday, Feb. 22, 2019
At a special meeting of the Transbay Transit Center Program Cost Review Committee, no update was provided on reopening the transit center. The peer review panel that is overseeing the repairs signed off on the final design to fix the First Street section of the structure. A review of any additional repairs that may be needed should be completed next month.
The center has been closed for 150 days.

Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019
There is no change to the timetable to reopen the Transit Center, following today's board meeting of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. Repairs are still expected to take until June.
The investigation into why steel beams cracked continues, and the budget has been doubled from about half a million to one million dollars.
Only about half of the retail space in the center has been rented out, and the board hopes that when the center reopens more businesses will move in.

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019
It's been six months since the Transit Center opened.

Two days before the next Transbay Joint Powers Authority board meeting, the agenda has been released showing that the focus is on finances. The TJPA plans to double the amount that it will reimburse the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Peer Review Panel, from about half a million dollars to more than one million dollars, because the review work is taking longer than originally planned. The board also plans to budget an extra $3 million and add a year to the contract with Turner Construction, which is in charge of the design and construction of the transit center. If approved, the total contract with Turner will be worth $78 million and will last through June 30, 2020. The board will also discuss its annual budget, estimated at nearly $32 million.

At Governor Gavin Newsom's first State of the State Address today, he announced a change of plans for California's High Speed Rail project. The goal is no longer to extend trains into the Bay Area. The Transit Center was built with underground levels to accommodate both high speed rail and Caltrain. ABC7 News asked the TJPA for comment and received this statement from Executive Director Mark Zabaneh: "We share the Governor's goal of connecting California and investing in efficient, smart transportation that supports economic and workforce development. We look forward to more details moving forward. In the meantime, when reopened, the transit center will immediately serve tens of thousands of commuters every day. Additionally, it is providing open space, shopping and dining, public art and is an economic driver for the community and the Bay Area."

Friday, Feb. 1, 2019
Today the Transbay Joint Powers Authority announced that repair work on the Transit Center will begin this weekend.
A block of First Street under the Center, between Howard and Mission, will be completely closed while crews replace the hydraulic jacks currently supporting the Center with a shoring system. The closure lasts from 5am Saturday to 8pm Sunday.
The cracked steel beams will be repaired by bolting steel plates onto them like a sandwich. Those plates are being made now and will be delivered next month. This repair work is expected to last until the first week of June.

A date has not been set to reopen the Transit Center. It has been closed for 129 days.

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019
Materials to repair the Transit Center have been obtained, according to an update posted today by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority. The steel plates, which will be bolted into place around the fractured beams like a sandwich, are now being fabricated.

A schedule for repairs has still not been released but is expected this month.

The next board meeting is on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14.

Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019
At the first board meeting of the year, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority said materials needed to repair the Transit Center have been ordered. Once they arrive, then a timetable for the repairs should be developed. There is still no date to reopen the Center.

The TJPA's schedule lists "Permanent Fix Sampling & Testing" as an ongoing item for the next month. The search continues to test any other parts of the Center that may be at risk of breaking. No more damage has been found. Work on building management systems - like water, power, HVAC, and fire alarms - is ongoing.

Friday, Jan. 4, 2019
An update dated today by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority matches the update from Dec. 31, 2018 almost word for word. Today's update reveals that the repair design was approved by the MTC Peer Review Panel last month, which means that work now moves forward to developing a schedule to fix the steel beams. The schedule should be completed this month.

Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019
The Transit Center has been closed for 100 days.

Monday, Dec. 31, 2018
The Transbay Joint Powers Authority posted an update online with very little new information. It states that "a construction schedule to repair the girders will be finalized in January 2019". The repair design must first be approved by the MTC Peer Review Panel. The Transit Center has been closed for 97 days.

Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018
The Transit Center has been closed for three months, more than twice as long as it was open.

Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018
Today the Transbay Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors heard from LPI, the independent New York firm which tested the steel samples, and from Thornton Tomasetti, the engineering firm involved in building the Center.

Weld access holes that were made during fabrication may be to blame for the cracks in the steel beams. These holes give crews access to perform welding. They are typically made with a drill. In the Transit Center, a thermal torch was used, creating high heat which eventually resulted in micro cracks. Either stress from construction or the use of the building then contributed to the larger cracks which led to the closure of the Center. The final report on the cause of the cracks is due next month.

The Transit Center will be fixed using a sandwich of steel panels which will be bolted in place, not welded. There is no ETA for reopening the Center.

Also today, plans to extend Caltrain into the Transit Center were put on hold.

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018
Today the TJPA Citizens Advisory Committee meets. The agenda includes an update on the Transit Center's closure as well as a discussion of the environmental impact of extending Caltrain into the lower level of the Center. Caltrain currently terminates at 4th and King Streets in San Francisco.

Monday, Dec. 10, 2018
According to newly released documents, in one week, preliminary findings of the tests on the steel samples should be released, along with a recommendation to fix the cracked beams. The goal is to review the recommendations in early January. A date to reopen the Transit Center has not been set yet.

A series of meetings takes place this week to discuss the closure of the Center.
Today the San Francisco Controller, Ben Rosenfield, met with the Executive Directors of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and Transbay Joint Powers Authority to discuss the center's shutdown, among other items.

On Tuesday, the TJPA Citizens Advisory Committee will meet to discuss plans to eventually extend Caltrain into the Transit Center. They will also hear an update on the closure.

On Thursday, the TJPA Board of Directors is scheduled to meet and will receive a presentation on the closure from the MTC Peer Review Panel, which is tasked with approving the repair plan, as well as LPI, the New York lab which conducted the tests on the steel samples, and Thornton Tomasetti, the engineering firm involved in building the Center.

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018
All "critical testing" is complete on the steel samples. Results will be analyzed to come up with a plan to repair and reopen the center, which has now been closed for 10 weeks.

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018
An update posted today from The Transbay Joint Powers Authority includes many details that were already made public. Testing is still expected to be completed this month, which will be followed by a discussion of the results and the creation of a plan to repair and reopen the Transit Center. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Peer Review Panel will approve the plan.
Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018
The transit center has been closed for two months.

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018
The Transit Center has now been closed for as long as it was open - 44 days. Today the Transbay Joint Powers Authority Board said they hope to get test results back this month, after sending samples of the steel beams to a specialized lab in New York. If engineers can figure out why the beams cracked, they can work on a repair plan. Ongoing inspections of the Transit Center have not revealed any other structural problems.

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018
Tomorrow, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors meets and will discuss updates on the Center's closure. New pictures and information, including a budget update, have been released in advance.

Friday, Nov. 2, 2018
The Transbay Joint Powers Authority sends samples of the steel beams from both the Fremont Street and First Street areas to LPI, Inc. a metallurgical lab in New York.

Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018
The Transit Center has been closed for one month.

Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018
The Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission today said the Transit Center will be closed indefinitely. Samples of steel from the building will be analyzed in New York. An update may be provided by the middle of next month.

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018
The transit center has been closed for four weeks. Finding out what caused the beams to crack will take at least another three weeks. Today the San Francisco County Transportation Authority voted unanimously to suspend funding to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, effectively ending its ability to oversee the next stage of the Transit Center, which will extend Caltrain from 4th & King Streets to the Center.

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018
The Transbay Joint Powers Authority is being sued by the general contractor in charge of building the Transit Center. Webcor Builders and Obayashi Corp. claim design and planning mistakes amount to a breach of contract and that they are owed $150 million. The TJPA says many of the lawsuit's claims involve delays that happened before the contractor's commitment to complete construction on time.

Monday, Oct. 15, 2018
Cars are able to drive down Fremont Street for the first time in almost three weeks, since the street and the Transit Center were shut down on Tuesday, Sept. 25.


Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018
The TJPA announces that Fremont Street between Howard and Mission will reopen in time for the Monday morning commute. Shoring is complete.


Friday, Oct. 12, 2018
Shoring is now complete on Fremont Street. Temporary reinforcement work started today on the bus deck, which is level 3 of the Transit Center, and will continue through the weekend. Lane lines on Fremont have been redrawn, in anticipation of reopening the street to traffic no later than Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018
The Senior Construction Manager for the Transit Center described Wed., Oct. 17 as a "no later than" date to reopen Fremont Street, and they will open the street as soon as possible. It was originally scheduled to open on Friday, Oct. 12. It will be at least several weeks before the Transit Center reopens.




Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018
The reopening of Fremont Street has been delayed until Wed., Oct. 17. It was originally supposed to reopen in time for the morning commute on Friday, Oct. 12. No more overnight work on First Street will happen this week. There will be one night of work next week which will close First Street from 9PM to 5AM. Both streets are the site of temporary shoring to take pressure off of the two cracked steel beams discovered inside the Transit Center.

New data shows that BART ridership remains high. The number of passengers was above average for the week of September 24, the first week of the Transit Center closure, which coincided with the Salesforce Dreamforce Convention. Ridership dropped the following week, the week of October 1, but remained above average most days. BART says it carries 420,000 passengers on a typical weekday.

Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018
No update from TJPA on the transit center. Ridership on the San Francisco Bay Ferry remains high for the second week in a row. Ridership between San Francisco and Oakland/Alameda rose 7 percent the week of Sept. 24. That was the first week the transit center was closed and was also the same week of the Salesforce Dreamforce Convention, which drew thousands of people to San Francisco. The SF Bay Ferry told ABC7 News that ridership changed less than 1 percent from that week to the following week. However, it's worth noting that the week of Oct. 1 included additional ferry service for Fleet Week.

Friday, Oct. 5, 2018
First Street is going to be shut down so that crews can install the same temporary shoring system that is being put in on Fremont Street. No cracked beams have been found in the Transit Center directly above First Street, but since this section was designed like Fremont Street the decision was made to reinforce both sections. Preparations begin Friday night. First Street will be closed for one block between Howard Street and Mission Street between 9pm and 5am, to avoid disrupting the commute. Fremont Street, which is also closed between Howard and Mission, is scheduled to reopen in time for the morning commute on Friday, Oct. 12.

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018

As scheduled, installation of temporary shoring system begins to relieve stress on cracked beams. Fremont Street still expected to reopen on Oct. 12.



Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018
There is no scheduled date to reopen the Transit Center. The Transbay Joint Powers Authority still expects to reopen Fremont Street on Friday, Oct. 12. That will happen after the current jacks are replaced by a temporary shoring system to relieve the stress on the cracked beams.



Tests will be performed on a sample of the steel to help determine what caused the cracks. These tests could take two weeks. The cause will dictate the fix and when the Transit Center will reopen.

Monday, Oct. 1, 2018
Officials announce the transit center and Fremont Street are not expected to reopen until at least Friday, Oct. 12.



Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018

Crews begin to stabilize the transit center with jacks, installed between the Center and Fremont Street.

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018

Materials arrive for temporary supports.



Friday, Sept. 28, 2018

Workers continue to prepare center for shoring system. Fremont Street expected to be closed through next week.

Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018
Workers remove ceiling panels, utilities, and light fixtures to clear way for temporary supports.


Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018

A second cracked beam is announced and a photo of the 2.5 foot long crack in the first beam is released. The Transbay Joint Powers Authority says the beams were installed and were last inspected in Jan. 2016, and note that there was no crack in June 2016 when fire proofing material was installed. They add that the cracks could have happened at any time after that.

The transit center was expected to stay closed through the end of the next week.



Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018

Around 10 a.m., while workers were installing ceiling panels, a crack was discovered in a load-bearing steel beam above the bus deck beneath the rooftop park. The beam is on the eastern side of the third level of the transit center, near Fremont Street.

Around 4:30 p.m., the entire center was closed and evacuated. Fremont Street was closed for one block between Mission Street and Howard Street. Bus service was relocated to the Temporary Transbay Terminal, one block away, at Main and Folsom Streets. SFMTA ambassadors helped guide commuters.




August 10 - 12, 2018

Opening weekend for the Salesforce Transit Center, located at 425 Mission Street, capped off more than eight years of construction that cost $2.2 billion.The 1 million square foot center is six stories tall. Two stories are underground. Four stories are above ground, topped with a 5.4-acre rooftop park.

Bus service officially began on Sunday, August 12 for AC Transit, Amtrak, Greyhound, and Westcat Lynx on the Center's third floor. Muni buses started using the Center's ground floor in June.


Get the latest stories and videos about the Salesforce Transit Center here.

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