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Salesforce Transit Center steel beams undergo tests

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The Salesforce Transit Center where crews are fixing two cracked steel beams remains closed in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, October 11, 2018.

Testing is underway of cracked steel beams found more than a month ago at the closed Salesforce Transit Center, said officials in charge of managing and building the transit center at a board meeting on Thursday.

The samples of the two cracked beams, which prompted the closure of the $2.2 billion transit center on Sept. 25, have been shipped to a lab in New York.

Members of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission peer review, Transbay Joint Powers Authority and Herrick Corp. — the manufacturer of the affected beams — will head to New York next week for those preliminary results and could prompt more tests if the results are unsatisfactory from the members reviewing the results, said Dennis Turchon, senior construction manager for the TJPA.

Turchon said:

“We want to make sure we take this step properly for everyone involved.”

No date has been established for when the transit center could reopen.

The plans to permanently fix the cracked beams will determine when officials could possibly reopen the transit center. All parties involved in reviewing the permanent fix will have to agree on the plans, which includes the members of the MTC Peer review group.

Board members of the TJPA are also calling for an independent review of the entire transit center to ensure the public and bus operators that the transit center is safe.

Ed Reiskin, a member of the TJPA and the director of transportation for San Francisco, said:

“I think the emergence of this issue puts at stake the credibility of the whole project. In order to overcome that, I think we need some level of review. Maybe some level of independent review of the whole facility.”

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority already has doubts of moving on with the second phase of the project.

Members of the SFCTA, which is made up of the Board of Supervisors, voted last month to freeze $9.7 million for the second phase of the project, which included funding 30 percent of the design for the Caltrain downtown extension.

The SFCTA board requested The City’s Controller’s Office to review the delivery of the transit center and to evaluate the management of the project. Additionally, the SFCTA board is requesting staff to return with alternatives on oversight models for the second phase of the project.

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