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CA Transit Center Fix Gets June Completion Date

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

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The fix for the $2.2 billion Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco is now officially underway as shoring went up along one of the streets last weekend. Repair work, though, is estimated to last until June.

What Happened Originally

On Sept. 25, workers discovered a cracked steel beam in the third-level bus deck of the Transit Center, just six weeks after the structure opened to the public. The next day, another fissure was found on an adjacent beam.

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

The fix for the $2.2 billion Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco is now officially underway as shoring went up along one of the streets last weekend. Repair work, though, is estimated to last until June.

The beams are part of the support system for the 5.4-acre rooftop garden and park, which includes a 5-foot layer of soil.

According to the Engineering News-Record, the bottom-flange cracks are near the 8-foot-deep midspan of each shop-welded girder. In the structure, the hanger plate slots through the bottom flange.

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

In early October, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority confirmed that the shoring systems for the cracked sections were complete, making way for technicians to get in to take samples for analysis at LPI. Testing included scanning electronic microscopy, Charpy V toughness tests, Rockwell hardness tests, tensile tests, fractographic analysis and metallographic analysis.

A peer review was also initiated, overseen by regional transportation agency MTC.

In December, the report from LPI Inc., a metallurgical lab that investigated the issue, concluded that the problem started with weld access holes that were created in the beam during the joining process.

Also at that time, the transit center’s engineer-of-record, Thornton Tomasetti, presented a fix that calls for bolting 20-inch-wide steel cover plates above and below the area around each fractured bottom flange, similar to a “14-foot-long double splint.”

The independent peer review panel said that it was in “general concurrence” with the proposed fix, and on Jan. 10 the authority confirmed that it is in the process of gathering materials for the approved scheme.

Michael Pearce / Getty Images

The transit center’s engineer-of-record, Thornton Tomasetti, presented a fix that calls for bolting 20-inch-wide steel cover plates above and below the area around each fractured bottom flange, similar to a “14-foot-long double splint.”

The repair will be made not only to the girders with cracks, but to a pair of identical girders along First Street that have not fractured.

What Now

It’s those First Street repairs that are actually happening first and where the shoring system went up over the weekend.

Early on Feb. 2, crews replaced hydraulic jacks with the shoring system to allow the TJPA to reinforce the girders on the bus deck.

The steel plates are currently being fabricated offsite and are slated for a March delivery and installation.

The TJPA said in a press release that repairs are scheduled for completion the first week of June, though a reopening date has not been determined. The TJPA also noted that the review of documents is still ongoing.

“Beginning repairs at the transit center marks a major milestone toward reopening the facility,” said Mark Zabaneh, Executive Director of the TJPA.

“While we are eager to welcome the Bay Area back to the transit center, we are balancing this with our responsibility to undertake an appropriately rigorous inspection and review protocol and cooperate with the independent review of the facility.”

   

Tagged categories: Accidents; Maintenance + Renovation; Mass transit; North America; Ongoing projects; Public Transit; Rehabilitation/Repair; Repair materials; Safety

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