Muni preps Chase Center platform for 2019 tipoff

In preparation for the thousands of Warriors fans who will descend upon the Chase Center for the 2019-2020 season, San Francisco transit officials have plans to lengthen an existing Muni platform in front of the arena and the UCSF Mission Bay campus.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Board of Directors on Tuesday approved a $33 million contract with Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. to demolish and construct a new center station platform in front of the new arena on Third between South and 16th streets.

Additionally, the contractor will install crossover tracks, new transit signals and new rail tracks. Crossover tracks allow the transit agency to switch trains over to other rail tracks in case of service disruptions.

The new 320-foot long by 16-foot wide platform will be able hold two two-car trains, said John Haley, SFMTA director of transit.

With the installation of the crossover tracks, both sides of the platform will be able to have two two-car trains as fans leave the arena, said Haley.

The transit agency received four bids from contractors but all were above the original estimated cost of $27 million, according to a SFMTA staff report.

According to a SFMTA staff report, there was a “lack of competition, especially at the sub-trade level,” and that all trades are busy with other projects. The transit agency still received four bids for the project, with Balfour Beatty with the lowest bid.

The project is facing a $17 million shortfall, but the report said the SFMTA and The Mayor’s Office are working to find potential funding sources. The total cost of the project is $51.7 million, but only $34 million has so far been identified.

Currently, the project’s funding comes from $5 million from The City’s General Fund, $14 million from the 2017 SFMTA Bond Revenue and $15 million from the Mission Bay Transportation Improvement Fund. The improvement fund will generate funds based on tax revenue The City will receive when the new arena opens in 2019.

For now, the San Francisco Examiner reports that the transit agency will pay off the shortfall through its rainy day fund and then be paid back through the improvement fund.

T-Third Disruption During Construction

While crews demolish the old platform, the T-Third will run on motorized buses on three weekends.

Following the demolition, crews will work on getting rid of the existing rail track and installing the new rail track alignment. For two and half months, the T-Third will run on motorized buses while crews complete this portion of the work, according to the SFMTA staff report.

Transit officials have not yet confirmed dates on when the bus substation will begin, but a SFMTA presentation said the demolition and installation of the new rail tracks could begin this fall.