Skip to Content
Streetsblog California home
Streetsblog California home
Log In

It took eight years to build and cost $2.26 billion. It finally opened last month.

And now it's broken.

From an AC Transit release put out last night:

...a fissure has been discovered in a steel beam of the Salesforce Transit Center. The steel beam is located in the ceiling of the third level Bus Deck, on the eastern side, of the Transit Center near Fremont Street. Out of an abundance of caution, the TJPA has closed the Salesforce Transit Center until further notice.

Apparently the crack was discovered as workers were doing finishing work on the building. Streetsblog emailed a structural engineer who specializes in such failures. "It's rare for there to just be one crack," wrote the engineer, who commented on condition of anonymity. "They're going to find more. Steel doesn't crack for no reason."

[UPDATE 9/27 They found more.]

Should they close the terminal?

"Yes," replied the engineer, at least until they can figure out exactly what happened and how to fix it.

Police guarded Fremont Street under the Transit Center, now closed after a cracked beam was discovered
Police guarded Fremont Street under the Transit Center, now closed after a cracked beam was discovered in the Terminal, which passes overhead
false

The San Francisco Chronicle's John King interviewed Joe Maffei of Maffei Structural Engineering in San Francisco, who also made it clear that a structural beam simply should not crack. "Two possible culprits are a fabrication problem — something went wrong when the beam was manufactured — or the beam is supporting more weight than it’s designed to bear," he told the Chronicle.

AC Transit buses back at the familiar "Temporary" Transbay facility. And how temporary will it be now?
AC Transit buses back at the familiar "Temporary" Transbay facility. And how temporary will it be now?
false

Meanwhile, AC Transit buses, as seen above, have returned to the street-level Temporary Transit Center at Howard & Beale Streets, along with other agencies that use the center, including Muni and Golden Gate Transit.

Streetsblog took AC Transit in this morning and, certainly, the ride is longer without the dedicated ramp available into the Salesforce terminal and the slog through street-level traffic. However, the majority of the delay getting to downtown was still just getting across the bridge itself. Bus operators and passengers have had eight years to get used to the temporary center, and didn't seem to have any trouble returning to their old routine.

An aerial view of the rooftop park of Transbay. Pic: Transbay Joint Powers Authority
An aerial view of the rooftop park of Transbay. Pic: Transbay Joint Powers Authority
false

Do you take a Transbay bus as part of your commute? How much was it impacted by the closure? And what do you make of the unfortunate discovery. Post below.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog California

Monday’s Headlines

Caltrain's electric trains to start limited weekend service soon; San Diego gets "tap-to-pay"; SF drivers demand "respect"; More

July 22, 2024

Advocates Share What It Takes to Fight Highway Expansions in Court 

What does it take to sue your state DOT? Time, money, the right partners, and a little creativity, a recent survey of activists found.

July 19, 2024

Friday Video: Paris Does it Again

Come for the bike-friendly streets, but stay for adopt-a-tree program and all the car-free school roadways.

July 19, 2024

Neighbors Want a BART Stop in San Antonio

It's one of the most densely populated parts of the Bay Area. BART goes right through it. So why not stop there?

July 19, 2024

Friday’s Headlines

Rep. Waters hates the people mover; SacRT's new transportation hub; Lessons learned from a long bike ride; More

July 19, 2024
See all posts