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Letter: TBM Removal Feasibility 12/5/12

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Dear Neighbor:

On Tuesday, December 4, the SFMTA Board of Directors directed me to investigate the feasibility of removing the Central Subway’s tunnel boring machines (TBMs) from the Pagoda Palace at 1731-1741 Powell Street. The SFMTA Board, Supervisor David Chiu’s office and many of the community members who spoke at the meeting expressed a strong preference for this option. I thank the SFMTA Board for their insight and guidance as we move toward a resolution.

Specifically, the SFMTA Board directed staff to pursue the Pagoda Palace option with all due haste and diligence in the next few months. The timing is critical, as failure to decide definitively on an alternative to the current, approved project will cost the overall program time and money. We will return to the SFMTA Board on February 5 to report our progress. Until then, we are working to obtain the rights to access the property, complete the required design and engineering changes, acquire the necessary permits and approvals, and identify a funding source to cover the increased costs associated with this option.

It is important to note that we do not need to complete every part of the process by February 5. However, we must be confident of the feasibility of the Pagoda Palace option at that time if we are to modify the existing plan.

We will update the community on our progress via email as we move forward. We will also host a public meeting in January in partnership with Supervisor Chiu to continue this conversation.

With a tight timeline and much to accomplish, the SFMTA Board’s action does not guarantee that the current plan will change. But as I told the SFMTA Board, I strongly support the Pagoda Palace option, and we will make every effort during the coming months to bring it to fruition.

Thank you again for participating in this process.
Edward D. Reiskin
SFMTA Director of Transportation
P.S. If you missed the December 4 meeting, you can watch it online here on SFGovTV.