Delayed Sunset Tunnel project nears completion

The work inside the Sunset Tunnel that has been going on since November of 2014 and has partially shutdown the N-Judah Muni line on some weekends is finally wrapping up.

Last weekend, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency said it completed about 80 percent of the repair work inside the tunnel. The work during the last 18 months included replacing worn-out rail tracks, the replacement of the overhead wiring and fire and semis safety upgrades, the transit agency said.

The Sunset Tunnel Trackway Tunnel Project also included adding transit signal priority for Muni trains at nine intersections along Judah and Irving streets, which still is not complete.

The project was to wrap up last year in May, but noise complaints from neighbors and finding available weekends to perform the work caused delays to the project, said SFMTA spokesman Paul Rose.

Neighbors did file a complaint last year in January about the noise from construction crews at night in the Duboce Triangle neighborhood. The SFMTA did resolve the issue and promised quite construction equipment and making gravel deliveries at different time.

Rose said the transit agency will still need to shut down the Sunset Tunnel at least for two more weekends this month to put in new emergency telephones and for radio system work, which the transit agency completed inside the subway between West Portal and Embarcadero stations two months ago.

Those shutdowns are tentatively scheduled on the weekend of March 18 and 25.

The transit agency also had work scheduled on Judah Street and 18th Avenue for transit signal priority upgrades last weekend, but cancelled due to poor weather. This weekend does not looking promising either, according to forecasts.

Rose said the transit agency will complete the project by the summer of this year. The transit agency will incur additional costs to the project because of the delays. Rose said the estimated costs related to the delays would not be available until the project is complete.

The SFMTA Board of Directors approved the contract with Proven Management Inc. for the Sunset Tunnel work at $16.1 million back in January 2014.