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Transbay JPA CAC Meeting Notes

A familiar presentation from the Planning Department’s Joshua Switzky about the Transit Center District Plan’s progress kicked off tonight’s meeting. There will be a public meeting about the Plan sometime in the next month or so to discuss public benefits built into the plan. I’ll note the meeting date and place on RinconHillSF.org as soon as it is available.

Next up was a presentation about how the bus ramps might be configured.

Finally, the Transbay JPA’s Bob Beck discussed the phases of the Transbay Transit Center project and a potential change to what happens in each phase.

The folks at Pelli Clarke Pelli suggested building the train box on the subterranean level of the transit center from the bottom up (as opposed to the current plans for building it from the top down). Right now, the top down plan will have the walls of the train box inserted downward, leaving the excavation of dirt and so on to occur in Phase II (caltrain connection phase). The suggested change to excavate in Phase I and build from the bottom up would save about $100 million from the total project costs (all phases combined) and would reduce the risks associated with building the train box from the top down, according to Bob. However, it means a shift in budget for $350 million of additional funds for Phase I instead of Phase II to build the train box sooner rather than later. The Transbay JPA along with other related groups (Caltrain, High Speed Rail Authority, public policy groups like SPUR) are all aggressively seeking economic stimulus funds to get their respective (and interrelated) projects rolling faster, and hope to stir up the $350 million to pursue this change in construction of the train box.

The one possible negative for the Rincon Hill neighborhood of this possible change in plans is that the Transbay Temporary Terminal would need to exist for an additional 12 months (tentatively), until 2015 (instead of 2014), if the $350 million is raised and they build the train box of the Transit Center from the bottom up. However, this bottom up construction will save money and sounds to be the smarter way to build it anyhow … 12 months isn’t that long.

Stay tuned ….

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