New Delay Slows Opening Of San Francisco Subway Line

Bob Butler
September 12, 2019 - 12:54 pm
Chinatown Station, part of the Central Subway Project

Chinatown Station, part of the Central Subway Project (Photo credit: Margie Shafer/KCBS Radio)

The Central Subway in San Francisco, which had been scheduled to open this year, has been delayed until mid-2021, transportation officials revealed. 

The train line, which would run from Third Street to Chinatown, has been under construction since 2010. 

Contractors are supposed to complete their work next summer. It will then take the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency a year to get the subway ready for the public to use beginning in the summer of 2021, aid Interim Director Tom Maguire.

The project has been slow because crews have encountered unexpected conditions as they tried building elevators deep below the surface. Those conditions "pushed out construction considerably," Maguire said. 

The project has also been complicated by the method of construction, he said.

"We chose to do this subway in one of the most technologically complex ways possible — through tunnel boring," said Maguire. "We did to minimize the impact on all the neighborhoods through which the subway runs."

The good news, as Maguire sees it, is that Stockton Street in Chinatown "is, for all intents and purposes, open to traffic and open to business."