A newly discovered fissure in at least one of the steel beams which supports the roof and 5.4-acre park atop the new Salesforce Transit Center has resulted in an emergency closure of the $2.2 billion center which opened last month.

As such, the former temporary terminal, which has yet to be razed, has returned to service while the new center is inspected, repaired and certified safe.

Adding to today’s Dreamforce driven congestion and traffic nightmare, Fremont Street between Mission and Howard, which the new transit center spans, has been closed, “out of an abundance of caution.” And yes, the cracked beam is located on the eastern side of the center, near Fremont Street and the leaning Millennium Tower.

UPDATE: Second Cracked Beam Found in New Salesforce Transit Center

UPDATE (9/27): A picture of the fissure, on the bottom flange of the aforementioned beam which spans Fremont Street, with fireproofing having been removed for inspection:

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Comments from “Plugged-In” Readers

  1. Posted by Miraloma Man

    Americans can’t really do infrastructure right anymore, can they? Why don’t we hire Austria, Japan, Canada, or some first world nation to build (and run) our stuff?

    • Posted by Anonymous

      Not sure if this is hyperbolic ignorance or the real thing. Impossible to tell in today’s world.

    • Posted by ScottH

      I don’t know – ask Germany how construction of the new Berlin Brandenburg airport has gone.

    • Posted by Government Shrinkage

      Or the Terminal 2E at CDG.

    • Posted by Anonymous

      Or getting a 3rd runway at Heathrow.

  2. Posted by Amewsed

    That doesn’t bode well. Wasn’t there an article that the footpath was prematurely cracking and coming up in pieces?

    I haven’t been there yet but will make sure to stay away during rush hour.

  3. Posted by Bob Jones

    Sounds like high-quality Chinese steel.

    • Posted by mvp

      That was the Bay Bridge Oakland side. This one, sadly, is home grown.

      Transbay Joint Powers Authority and its executive director Mark Zabaneh said “the crack was found near a weld on a stress-bearing horizontal beam. He said he did not know how long the crack was, but he told reporters that American steel was used in the center’s construction.”

  4. Posted by Maya

    Just tear it down. Its purpose was to give pretense to the surrounding high rise development so it’s already outlived its usefulness.

    • Posted by two beers

      Maybe the contractor who wins the Millenium demo job will throw this one in as a twofer? (insert laughing/crying/blushing emoticon here)

  5. Posted by Jeffrey W. Baker

    I always admired how carefully inspected the steelwork is on this structure. Each beam, after welding, was absolutely covered in engineers’ inspection notes in white paint pen. It seemed to me like they were really doing it right. Will be interesting to learn what the problem is. Also I hope they can resolve it right quick; the old temporary terminal adds at least 20 minutes to every bus trip.

    • Posted by Shza

      20 minutes is pretty extreme hyperbole. The ride to/from Piedmont was generally 35 minutes at the old terminal. It will never be a 15-minute trip to/from the new terminal. I’d say it’s a 5-minute difference.

  6. Posted by why

    The entire transit center can just be handed over within minutes to the “temporary” terminal.. so then what was the point of even building a new one?

    • Posted by mvp

      Someone somewhere had money and the city of San Francisco wanted to spend it. Is there any other reason to build a multi-billion dollar *bus* terminal?

      “News that the Transbay Terminal is something like $300 million over budget should not come as a shock to anyone. We always knew the initial estimate was way under the real cost. Just like we never had a real cost for the Central Subway or the Bay Bridge or any other massive construction project. So get off it. In the world of civic projects, the first budget is really just a down payment. If people knew the real cost from the start, nothing would ever be approved. The idea is to get going. Start digging a hole and make it so big, there’s no alternative to coming up with the money to fill it in.”

      • Posted by two beers

        “Is there any other reason to build a multi-billion dollar *bus* terminal? ”

        Why, yes, there is: to (further) increase (already over-inflated) nearby property values. Follow the money.

      • Posted by Cynthia's Name

        To be fair, it wasn’t supposed to be a bus terminal. It was supposed to include high-speed rail and CalTrain.

        • Posted by Martin

          And to add to Cynthia, a poor decision was made to build bus part first, meaning that after $2 billion dollars, we don’t have any new infrastructure. The train station and tunnels should’ve been built first and top could’ve been used for parking until money was identified for the park/bus station.

          • Posted by Jon

            And to add to Martin, a poor decision was made to build the neighboring high rises first, as decision makers are now reluctant to build the underground rail tunnels as it will disrupt the brand new neigborhood.

            But as we all know, building the rails was never really the priority of this project…

          • Posted by BTinSF

            The right of way for the train tunnels was identified and reserved and is sitting there. There will be no “disruption” of the high rises due to tunnel construction when and if the money is found. But the high rises paid for what has been built, or would have been built, whether it was the terminal we have or the underground train infrastructure. The lots sold to the high rise developers, all private entities, raised the money for the public infrastructure that was or could have been built .

    • Posted by yy

      Via Brando’s Zapata:

      Get his name, I want his name!!

  7. Posted by Plugger

    So now finding crack at the bus station is major news? Tut tut

    • Posted by SocketSite

      When said crack in a load bearing beam, which supports the roof and park atop a brand new $2.2 billion transit center, is large enough to be visible to the naked eye? Yes, it is.

    • Posted by Sculpy

      Actually, crack kinda would be news. Heroin/Fentanyl, not so much…

  8. Posted by Adam

    The issue is not just this one beam, it is the fact that it puts the integrity of the entire structure into question. Tests will need to be done throughout the building, and all of the steel inspected again to see if any other fractures have appeared. Inside of ceilings, beneath the floors- I can only imagine how panicked they must be over there right now.

    • Posted by Martin

      On the upside, the beams are easily accessible, so once issue is understood, the fix is straightforward to apply….

  9. Posted by anon2.5

    My guess is some portion of the transbay center will open before the end of the week.

    • Posted by Notcom

      “Crack: verb: break or cause to break without a complete separation of the parts.”

      Sounds like a portion has already opened.

  10. Posted by Frank

    On the bright side, if there is any to be found, at least it was in the “New Transbay Terminal”(sic) and not the adjacent Salesforce tower or 181 Fremont where a crack like that would most likely be significantly more alarming. Also, better to find it now, after just opening the center than to go along happily until one unsuspecting rush hour in the height of a travel holiday…. In other industries, similar situations would require every person whose name was attached to that project, to be investigated for qualification, competency and sobriety. The public has a right to know just who was responsible for what.

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