Twin Peaks tunnel project delayed into 2018

Delays continue to mount to make repairs inside the 100-year old Twin Peaks Tunnel.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said on Tuesday that construction for the Twin Peaks Tunnel Project will not start until next year. The SFMTA had targeted to begin work on the project in July.

SFMTA officials will need to terminate the $33 million contract with NTK Construction, Inc. because of “logistical issues,” said Reiskin:

“We needed to make a number of changes in the contract that ultimately weren’t able to do within the confines of the contract that we had awarded.”

The SFMTA Board of Directors awarded the contract to NTK Construction in April 2016.

Erica Kato, spokesperson for the SFMTA, said there were scheduling issues that ultimately led to the termination of the contract.

Transit officials had originally planned the Twin Peaks Tunnel Project to coincide with subway work that involved replacing the emergency blue telephones and radio system back in 2015.

The Twin Peaks Tunnel Project entailed replacing the rail tracks between West Portal and Castro stations. The tunnel carries an average of 80,000 Muni riders a day and is currently under a speed restriction, according to the SFMTA.

Other parts of the project included making seismic upgrades to the abandoned Eureka Valley Station, replacing machines that operate the track switches, improving structural support between West Portal and Forest Hill stations, improving the fire suppression system inside the West Portal Station, repairing concrete walls and replacing the drainage system.

The project required the shutdown of the subway between West Portal and Castro stations, and had tentatively planned for bus shuttle service. The SFMTA planned for five scheduled shutdowns with each shutdown lasting 11 to 15 days.

Reiskin said the SFMTA plans to reissue the contract for bidding again in the fall and will ask contract companies on how to best deliver the Twin Peaks Tunnel Project.

Depending on those answers and when the transit agency issues the noticed to proceed, Reiskin said he will have clearer picture on the project schedule later this year.

The SFMTA will also have to work with both the West Portal and Castro neighborhoods on a new construction schedule.

Transit officials had another project sequenced during the same time as the Twin Peaks Tunnel Project involving replacing rail tracks on the M-Ocean View at the Rossmoor Drive right-of-way.

Kato said that project will still move forward.