- Transbay Joint Powers Authority staff told board members Thursday that repairs and reinforcement of steel girders at the $2.2 billion Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco will be complete by the end of May but that there still is no firm reopening date.
- Executive Director Mark Zabaneh told the board that repair of the first cracked girder should be finished this month and reinforcement of the second will be finished in May.
- The “sandwiching” of cracked and stressed areas with steel plates is underway as is the ongoing review of construction documents and inspection of the remainder of the center. Zabaneh said the agency has not detected any additional structural issues or defects.
Once the Peer Review Panel determines who is responsible for the cracked beams, that party or parties will be expected to pay the repair costs, as well as revenue lost during the closure. Ron Alameida, director of project management for the City and County of San Francisco's Department of Public Works, said a few contractors had dragged their feet in handing over requested documents but added that information has started to flow in the last few weeks.
One of the reasons Zabaneh could not give the board a re-opening date, he said, was that the decision must be made in tandem with those in charge of the rooftop park and retail so that all services can start up again at the same time. The transit center opened in August 2018 only to be shut down the next month after the cracked girders were found.
There is a consensus on the part of authority officials and their consultants that the cracks in the steel beams are a result of the lack of grinding at weld access holes. Grinding the areas, officials said, would have prevented cracks from developing.
After the authority’s March meeting, Zabaneh told the press that four tiers of inspections had failed to catch the flaws that led to the cracking and that the failure was a construction issue. Skanska USA, which is the structural steel contractor for the project, shot back at the authority, claiming that it was ignoring the role design played.
Skanska said its crews and steel fabricator Herrick Corp. performed the work to project specifications and as directed by engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti. Skanska said the authority had made “incorrect statements” about the girder inspection process, as well as the extent of the TJPA’s and Thornton Tomasetti’s responsibility.