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Sunset Tunnel Weekend Construction Resumes on July 10-13

As part of the Sunset Tunnel Trackway Improvement Project, the SFMTA will resume the weekend construction on the Sunset Tunnel on July 10-13. By replacing the aging track and other infrastructure inside the Sunset Tunnel, the project will help improve safety and reliability of the N Judah rail service for Muni customers.

Seismic upgrades to Sunset Tunnel are an important part of the safety enhancement project. It will involve structural retrofit of the tunnel portal retaining walls and their foundations.

During construction, the SFMTA will continue to implement the work plan to better control the night time noise. Noise mitigation measures will include:

  • Using both west and east portals for removal and handling gravel ballast
  • Delivering gravel ballast to the job site only between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Fridays through Sundays
  • Installing mufflers on the construction equipment and using acoustically attenuating shields or shrouds on impact tools
  • Using new backup alarms with lower noise level
  • Using electric powered rather than diesel-powered equipment whenever possible

The Sunset Tunnel construction is scheduled to take place on 15 weekends between November 2014 and winter of 2015. So far we have worked on nine weekends. The SFMTA has rescheduled the weekend construction planned for the July 17 weekend to accommodate the AIDS Walk. The work scheduled for the July 31 weekend is also canceled due to the BART TransBay tunnel shutdown. The next weekend construction will be in August.  

What to Expect during Weekend Construction:

  • Crews will work continuously from approximately 8 p.m. on Friday until 5 a.m. on Monday.
  • The majority of the work will take place inside the Sunset Tunnel and at the tunnel entrances.
  • Noise control measures will be implemented; however the work will be audible throughout the weekend.
  • The streets near the tunnel entrances will remain open.
  • To accommodate the tunnel work, parking restrictions will become effective from Friday 12 a.m. to Monday 5 a.m. on both sides of Duboce Avenue from Steiner to Scott Street, and on both sides of Carl Street from Clayton to Cole Street.

Weekday Work:

Prep work, such as wielding and moving the rails, will continue at the two staging areas by the portals on weekdays. In order to keep the local traffic flowing and maintain the N Judah rail service during day time hours, new rails will be delivered at night.  

Weekend Bus Substitution Service:

  • Bus shuttles will substitute for the N Judah rail service between Church & Duboce and Ocean Beach.
  • Bus substitution will start at about 7 p.m. on Friday and will be operated during regular service hours until early Monday morning.
  • The bus shuttles will follow the N Judah Line making regular stops except for the tunnel portion where buses will be routed to Haight Street.
  • Regular N rail cars will continue to provide service between Caltrain Depot and Church & Duboce.
  • The N Judah stops at Church & Duboce will provide a transfer point between bus shuttles and trains for Muni customers.
  • The weekend N Judah Owl bus service will not be affected.

Other Ongoing N Judah System Improvement Projects:

Maximizing construction opportunities, the SFMTA has integrated multiple construction components under the Sunset Tunnel project in order to minimize the inconveniences for both N Judah riders and the community around the construction area.

The Transit Signal Priority (TSP) system upgrades are taking place at nine intersections sequentially along the N Judah Line. On the July 10 weekend, crews will be installing signal loops between the tracks at the Judah and 18th Avenue intersection.

  • Work hours will be 8 to 10 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  

  • During construction the streets will remain open; however there will be lane closures and traffic will be diverted.

  • Street parking at construction site will be temporarily unavailable.

  • There will be noise during excavation of the trackway before 10 p.m. on Friday. 

The TSP system will use technology to reduce dwell time at traffic signals for Muni light rail vehicles by holding green lights longer.

The construction of the wheelchair accessible platforms on Judah and 28th Avenue was successfully completed in late March. The westbound and eastbound stops are now being served by N Judah trains.  

The new platform include longer boarding islands and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant curb ramps, making Muni Metro system safer and easier to use for all customers.

Thank you for your understanding and patience while we work to improve your Muni system.

For concerns or assistance, please contact: Tess Kavanagh, Project Manager, at 415.701.4212, via email at or Jay Lu, Public Relations Officer, at 415.701.4387, via email at

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