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Construction Information

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The information below is historical information about the Van Ness Improvement Project, shared for reference purposes. For current information about the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit corridor, please visit


Van Ness Improvement Project Staff are Here to Help

Have a question about construction or the Van Ness Improvement Project? You may also contact project staff directly by emailing or calling 415.646.2310.


The illustration below shows the three construction phases and work you can expect to be conducted in each phase. 

Van Ness Project Timeline

Construction schedule showing three phases of construction. The first, utilities phase of construction is scheduled to complete mid-2020; the second and third phases of construction, BRT Build-out and Bus Power, are both scheduled to begin mid-2020 and end mid-2021

Roadway and Utility Work Phase:

  • Preparing the roadway for construction
  • Replacing more than 22,000-feet of 1800’s-era water main
  • Building an underground sewer system that could sustain a major earthquake and the impacts of climate change
  • Overhauling the emergency firefighting system that supplies water to over 1,200 fire hydrants
  • Updating streetlights with brighter, more efficient lights and adding sidewalk lighting
  • Installing an electrical duct bank that will power the traffic signals and overhead contact system

Once the utility work is completed, the sidewalk and roadway will be restored to begin the next phase of construction.

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Build Phase
  • Building red center-running Bus Rapid Transit lanes (see features of Bus Rapid Transit below)
  • Building station platforms and new medians

This BRT Build phase will begin as the Roadway and Utility Work phase is wrapping up and will last about six months.

Bus Power, Safety Enhancements and Beautification Phase
  • Replacing the aging overhead wire system that powers the buses
  • Installing new landscaping and rain gardens
  • Repaving Van Ness Avenue for a smoother ride
  • Building sidewalk extensions and painting crosswalks that will make streets safer for people walking
  • Training operators on the new system

Construction of the Van Ness Improvement Project is underway. The project received final environmental certification from the Federal Transit Administration on December 20, 2013. The SFMTA Board made the final legislative approval of the transit and safety improvements on November 18, 2014. After construction is completed, Bus Rapid Transit service is expected to begin 2022. 

Project video(s)


The Polk Streetscape Project and Van Ness Improvement Project team meet regularly to coordinate project work. Please visit the Polk Streetscape Project construction information page for details. For a description of the project, project renderings and past meeting materials, please visit the Polk Streetscape Project page. 

CPMC's Van Ness and Geary Campus is currently under construction. Please visit CPMC's website for a description of the project and to sign up for their project updates.