Incompetence Keeps Salesforce Transit Center Closed Till Summer

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The Salesforce Transit Center famously closed weeks after it opened in September of 2018, when it was discovered that its support beams were cracking.  Fast forward 7 months, and the Transbay Joint Powers Authority is saying that the $2.2 billion transit hub will finally be fixed by June 1 2019.  But we still have no clear idea when the center will reopen.  Thus far, no one has accepted responsibility for the cracked steel beams, not to mention the tens of millions of dollars it’s costing to replace them.

According to the MTC report, the cracks in the support beams were caused by skipping a necessary grinding process, among other lapses, but it’s unclear which party will be held accountable (if any). “We intend to hold the party responsible … for all costs incurred from the temporary closure,” City spokeswoman Christine Falvey wrote in an email to media.

The projected retail revenue for the transit center’s 2019-2020 fiscal year also shrank by more than $2.1 million from its original target of over $5 million.  It cost $4.1 Million just to find out what caused the beams to crack, it’s costing tens of millions to fix it, and no one knows how much in legal fees it will cost to hold someone accountable.

A rendering of the two steel plates that will sandwich the beams above Fremont and First streets in the ‘fixed’ Transite Center. TJPA

The level of incompetence it takes to make a building’s steel support beams crack, mere weeks after its completion, is beyond our measure.  Even the concrete paths in the rooftop park were seen to be crumbling, mere weeks after it was opened.   How do you get concrete wrong?  How did you manage to fuck up the sidewalks?

The park’s sidewalks began crumbling shortly after opening, inexplicably.

But with massive public construction projects in San Francisco, this kind of incompetence is commonplace, because the penalty for screwing things up never overshadows the mountains of cash you make screwing the taxpayer.  The same companies who do shotty, overpriced work for the city, are simply re-hired over and over again by their cronies in city hall.  Remember when city attorney Herrera had to sue SFO extension builders Tutor-Saliba & Perini Corp because they overcharged the city by hundreds of millions of dollars in the 2000’s? These contractors overcharged the city by $364 million, but ended up only having to pay back $19 Million after fighting in the courts for 3 years.  The city’s legal bills alone cost $10 Million.

Fast forward to 2019, and guess which company the city hired to build the SF Central Subway extension?  That’s right, Tutor Perini, basically the same guys who defrauded the city a decade ago (allegedly).  Should we be surprised that the Central Subway line is millions over budget and delayed years?

Meanwhile, the Salesforce transit hub reopening date, has yet to be determined, as the Metropolitan Transportation Commission still needs to finish its independent peer review report, and the bus agencies need time to transition their services from the temporary terminal. That could take two weeks, but probably will take much longer.  Don’t hold your breath San Francisco.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

I'm the managin' editor here at Broke-Ass Stuart. When we're not writing, editing, or publishing articles, Stuart and I are promoting the good things in SF & NYC.

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