Labor Day Construction Provides Link to Muni's Future

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

4th and King intersection with construction

New train tracks will take the T Third Line straight up 4th Street when the Central Subway opens. This weekend we start the work to build the tracks at 4th and King, shown here.

We’re working through Labor Day weekend to make transit better for everyone, and a big piece of it is about making a connection.

And not just any connection.   

We’re talking about the link that will allow people around Union Square and the foot of Powell Street to zip to the Golden State Warriors’ planned arena in Mission Bay in minutes.  Residents from the southeast portion of the city – the Bayview, Hunters Point, Dogpatch – will have a straight shot to SoMa or Chinatown. Caltrain commuters will be able to whisk to the Moscone Center in a mere two rail stops.

We’re talking about the Central Subway.  It’s Muni’s biggest project, and it will link the T Third Line to SoMa, the Moscone Center, Union Square and Chinatown.   

This weekend we’ll be doing the initial work so we can lay tracks to link the existing T Third to its future pathway.

Big Work, Big Benefits

When open for service in 2019, the Central Subway will provide a modern, efficient light-rail line connecting the fast-growing southeast section of San Francisco with major job centers, retail areas and cultural destinations in the northern part of the city.

The tunnel is in place, but some major construction remains, including finishing four new stations and laying tracks inside the subway and on 4th Street.  The Labor Day portion gets us started building new rails at 4th and King streets. We’ll also install traffic signals that will give Muni trains priority through the light.

It’s the first of two planned phases of construction at the intersection of 4th and King. The second phase of work is planned for the first quarter of 2016.

A Laborious Labor Day

This weekend’s work happens to coincide with another sizable Muni project, BART construction that will temporarily halt service between San Francisco and the East Bay, and a Billy Joel concert at nearby AT&T Park. You can find specifics on all the transit improvements happening on Labor Day Weekend here.

Is the construction at 4th and King going to make it harder to get around? Yes. The temporary effects on transportation will be real, and we have a detailed breakdown of service changes here. There will be detours and traffic congestion around 4th and King. Parking will be a challenge. Muni will experience delays. People should avoid the area if they can.

The construction is also expected to cause a significant amount of noise from 10 p.m. Friday night until early Saturday morning from major jackhammering through the roadway.  We realize that’s very tough to deal with at night. We’ve been notifying nearby residents, and we’ve purchased 12 large boxes of earplugs as a small step to help ease the annoyance. About three-fourths of the earplugs have already been distributed to neighbors in the surrounding buildings.

There is never an easy time to do major construction. Labor Day Weekend is a time when there is usually a lull in transit ridership and many people are out of town

When finished, the Third Street Light Rail Transit Project will link the 5.1-mile T Third line completed in 2007 with phase two of the project, the 1.7-mile Central Subway.

It will be worth it.  By 2030 the entire line is projected have the highest ridership of any Muni line.

Labor Day Weekend Detours at 4th and King

Muni detours at 4th and King

Muni detours at 4th and King streets during Labor Day weekend.

Vehicle detours at 4th and King

Vehicle detours at 4th and King streets during Labor Day weekend.