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Cracked Beam Forces CA Transit Hub to Close

Thursday, September 27, 2018

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San Francisco’s Transbay Joint Powers Authority shut down its $2.2 billion Salesforce Transit Center on Tuesday (Sept. 25) after workers discovered a cracked steel beam in the ceiling of the third-level bus deck. The center opened just last month.

What Happened

Officials are still investigating the fissure in the six-and-a-half-foot steel beam, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Fullmetal2887, CC-BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

San Francisco’s Transbay Joint Powers Authority shut down its $2.2 billion Salesforce Transit Center on Tuesday (Sept. 25) after workers discovered a cracked steel beam in the ceiling of the third-level bus desk. The center opened just last month.

“While this appears to be a localized issue and we have no information that suggests it is widespread, it is our duty to confirm this before we allow public access to the facility,” Mark Zabaneh, executive director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, the public agency that owns the center, said in a statement.

The beam is part of the support system for the 5.4-acre rooftop garden and park, which includes a 5-foot layer of soil. The rooftop has already been plagued with issues as its concrete walkway was found to be crumbling just weeks after the center opened.

In addition to the structural issues, the center cost $800 million more than expected to build and a judge recently ruled that the Authority must also pay the legal fees for the developers of neighboring Millennium Tower, who blame the Authority for the tower’s sinking and leaning problems.

General contractors Webcor and Obayashi managed the center’s construction, which lasted from August 2010 to August 2018. The architect was Pelli Clarke Pelli and Thornton Tomasetti is the structural engineer.

The general contractors and structural engineers are evaluating the fissure and inspecting all steel beams throughout the center, according to the Authority’s press release.

“The safety of everyone who visits the Salesforce Transit Center is our obligation and highest priority,” said Zabaneh, adding that the closure, which is in effect until further notice, is out of an “abundance of caution.”

   

Tagged categories: Health and safety; Maintenance + Renovation; Mass transit; North America; Public Transit; Safety; Steel

Comment from Steven Nadler, (9/27/2018, 9:22 AM)

So where was the quality control and especially the quality assurance?


Comment from Michael Halliwell, (9/27/2018, 11:17 AM)

Not enough info here to be able to identify whether this is a QA/QC issue with the steel, a fabrication error, a design flaw or ?? With the concrete on the roof having issues too, there are several possible reasons ranging from simply poor QA/QC on the materials to an undersized structural member causing excessive deflection (with possible failure implications). Hopefully they get to the bottom of it soon.


Comment from Sara O'Neil-Manion, (10/1/2018, 9:47 AM)

Does anyone have any facts on where the steel was sourced and manufactured? Personally witnessed a Russian sourced steel beam with significant deflection visibly exceeding L/360 under its own dead load. Would be interesting to know.


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