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5/3/2012



Rail News: Passenger Rail

San Francisco officials OK key resolutions to advance Central Subway project


On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) unanimously approved five resolutions aimed at advancing the Central Subway project.

Among the five measures approved by the supervisors board, one supports an assurance funding plan that will enable the Central Subway to advance if state bond funds earmarked for the project are delayed, SFMTA officials said in a prepared statement. SFMTA’s board approved a similar measure.

The supervisors also passed four resolutions that approved the acquisition of temporary construction licenses, which will permit subway tunnel work to begin in June around Union Square. The temporarily licenses would authorize the agency to acquire the rights via eminent domain to install temporary piles that cross into private property dozens of feet below ground. Agency officials are negotiating a license agreement with the property’s owners.

“This resolution brings us one step closer to receiving the Full Funding Grant Agreement for New Starts funding later this year,” said Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, one of the sponsors of the resolution. “The Central Subway will dramatically improve transportation for thousands of San Franciscans. With the strong support of our federal, state and local partners, we can continue to move forward with this essential investment.”

The assurance funding resolutions enable SFMTA to issue revenue bonds in the event of a shortfall or delay in state Proposition 1A High Speed Rail (HSR) Connectivity funds. The Federal Transit Administration, which is expected to provide nearly $1 billion in funds to the subway project through the New Starts program, had asked the additional assurance as a backup plan, SFMTA officials said.

The Central Subway project will extend the Municipal Railway’s T Third Line from the 4th Street Caltrain Station to Chinatown. Four new stations will be built along the alignment.


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