The scheduled opening of the Central Subway, which was supposed to be in December, has been pushed back once again to February of next year, according to the latest progress report.
The delayed SFMTA project, begun in 2012 and originally set to open in December 2018, was previously delayed back in 2017 amid a blame game between contractors and complaints about designs submitted too late by the SFMTA. The project has been set to open by the end of this year ever since that time, but as the Examiner reports, contractor Tutor Perini is being blamed for the latest two-month pushback.
According to the status report submitted to the Federal Transit Administration, the final delay is because of "Headhouse Concourse level slab and shotcrete application at Platform Level" at Chinatown Station, which has subsequently delayed electrical work. Says the report, "This impact would have to be mitigated in the field by [Tutor Perini] increasing the number of crews assigned to electrical work."
SFMTA spokesperson Erica Kato issued a statement to the Examiner saying that the agency is still expecting the subway to open in December, but "there are risks to achieving this schedule."
As the Examiner notes, an independent monitor has previously predicted the subway's opening date could push to May 2020 if there are any more change orders between the SFMTA and the contractor.
The latest development in the blame game came with an opinion piece that Tutor Perini published on April 4, in which the contractor said that the "SFMTA has been dishonest with the public and the oversight contractor regarding the project delays," and the agency "delayed the project opening by issuing hundreds of change orders to the contractor to correct numerous flaws in SFMTA’s original design for the Project."
The $1.6 billion Central Subway, long an albatross among SF's recent construction projects, will connect central SoMa (4th and King Streets) with Chinatown, with the eventual hope that it might be extended into North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf.
But yeah, it will be quicker getting from Union Square to Caltrain once this is open.