N-Judah, M-Ocean View face weekend shutdowns

The N-Judah will be out of commission for a total of five weekends between September and October so the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency can complete the seismic retrofit work inside the Sunset Tunnel.

SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin gave a heads-up to the transit agency’s Board of Directors on Tuesday that the first two weekend shutdowns will most likely occur on Sept. 8 through Sept. 11, Sept. 15 through Sept. 18, and Sept. 22 through Sept. 24.

Bus shuttles will start running around 7 p.m. on Friday nights and return before the Monday morning commute. Bus shuttles will run from Church Street and Duboce Avenue to Ocean Beach, and trains will run from Church Street and Duboce Avenue to Fourth and King streets. The SFMTA has a list of where shuttle buses will stop for service on its website.

Another two weekend shutdowns will most likely occur in October, but have not yet been scheduled, said Reiskin.

The Sunset Tunnel project began in 2014 and was expected to be completed in nine months. But the tunnel was in worse shape than anticipated, the San Francisco Examiner reported.

While the SFMTA works on the Sunset Tunnel, progress on the Inner Sunset Streetscape Project will also take place during the same weekend shutdowns of the N-Judah, said Reiskin:

“We have synched up these two projects so that we can do all the shutdowns at once and minimize the convenience to the public.”

The Inner Sunset project will move both the inbound and outbound N-Judah transit stops after the traffic signal on Ninth Avenue and Irving Streets.

A part of the project also includes transit signal upgrades on Irving Street at Fifth and Eighth avenues, transit bulb outs on Irving Street at Fifth, Sixth and Eighth avenues and transit bulb outs at Ninth Avenue and Irving Street in front of both inbound and outbound transit stops.

The Inner Sunset project will require an additional 10-day shutdown of the N-Judah, which will occur in 2018, said Reiskin.

M-Ocean View Projects

Two projects on the M-Ocean View line will start this fall.

One of the projects includes installing a new pedestrian refuge near the inbound tracks of the M-Ocean View at 19th and Junipero Serra, said Reiskin:

“For anyone who has tried to cross the street on foot there, it’s just an awful unfriendly environment.”

The SFMTA will install intrusion measures to prevent private vehicles from entering the tracks. Crews will install red paint striping and low-profile speed humps.

Reiskin said this was one of the top spots on the rail system where drivers enter the Muni trackway.

The project also includes realigning the crosswalks so pedestrians can have a more direct crossing at 19th Avenue and Junipero Serra, and the SFMTA will install transit signal priority sensors at the intersection, according to the SFMTA.

A second project includes replacing the rail tracks on 19th Avenue between Winston and Rossmoor drives. This will require the shutdown of the M-Ocean View, said Reiskin.

Reiskin said while transit agency works on the project, the SFMTA will run shuttle buses from West Portal to Balboa Park.

Crews will also install transit signal priority sensor at the M-Ocean View private right-of-way at Rossmoor Drive.

A SFMTA report said the current transit signal operates at a fixed time interval. The report said this can cause delays to the 28-19th Avenue local and rapid service because buses have to stop even if a train is not present.

The SFMTA said the transit signal priority sensor will also allow the M-Ocean View trains to continually move through the intersection and stop traffic when trains are approaching.

Intrusion measures will also be installed near the entrance of the private right-of-way to deter vehicles from entering, according to the SFMTA.

No date yet has been scheduled for when the shutdown will start, but work on the project may begin in October, said Reiskin.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with new information about the N-Judah weekend shutdown.