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San Francisco transit agency ramps up subway construction, appoints head of capital programs

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is ramping up construction of the Central Subway project, with major preparation beginning for tunneling, including the excavation of an entire city block next week in the SoMa neighborhood.

The next stage of construction will be the first to address permanent elements of the Central Subway, SFMTA officials said in a prepared statement.

On June 12, contractor Barnard Impregilo Healy Joint Venture will begin excavating and constructing a launch box at the site where tunneling will begin. The launch box will be constructed on Fourth Street between Bryant and Harrison streets, beneath the Interstate 80 overpass. At nearly 500 feet long, 50 feet wide and up to 40 feet deep, the excavation will take up most of the block. Next year, a pair of tunnel boring machines will begin digging the Central Subway tunnels from the launch box.

This year, tunnel preparation work also will occur at several other locations along the project alignment. The contractor also will construct below-ground walls at two subway station sites, relocate utilities and perform ground-stabilization work to prepare for the Central Subway tunnel. Preparation for headwall installing, such as potholing and utility relocation, is slated to begin this week.

“Crews will soon be building the first permanent components of the vital Central Subway extension of the T Third Line,” said Edward Reiskin, director of transportation. “This $233 million contract will create jobs, both directly and indirectly, and contribute to the local economy.”

Meanwhile, SFMTA has appointed Vince Harris director of capital programs and construction. Prior to his appointment, Harris was executive director of the Stanislaus Council of Governments in Modesto, Calif., and executive director of the Alameda County Transportation Authority.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/8/2012