Cracks in Support Beams Close San Francisco’s $2.2 Billion Transportation Terminal


A crack found in a support beam of San Francisco’s new Salesforce Transit Center led officials to close the terminal September 25, during a weekday rush hour, and a crack was found the next day in another beam.


Workers replacing roof tiles discovered the first crack Tuesday morning. Engineers spent the day investigating the crack until finally shutting down the terminal.


Mark Zabaneh, executive director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority that operates the center, said the crack was near a weld on a stress-bearing horizontal beam and “the behavior of the beam is unpredictable.”


On Wednesday, officials found another beam that was showing signs of cracking.

Zabaneh said the cracks were localized to one area and the transit center will remain closed “at least through the end of next week” as inspections continue.


The cracks are the latest problems enveloping the transit center, which had been billed as the “Grand Central of the West.” A few weeks ago, a walking path in the upstairs park was deteriorating after minimal use. Additionally, several homeowners in the adjacent Millennium Tower have filed suit claiming the construction of the transit center was a factor causing their building to sink.


The transit center project’s costs rose from $1.6 billion in 2010 to $2.2 billion in 2016. (Sources: The Sacramento Bee, September 25, and The Associated Press, September 26.)

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