July 20, 2011

San Francisco awards $57.2M for Central Subway Project

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) board voted unanimously this morning to approve $57.2 million in Proposition K funds for the Central Subway Project.

These funds will make possible the purchase of two tunnel boring machines and construction of the tunnel launch box. This vital allocation puts a large portion of the funding in place for the $233 million Guideway Tunnel contract that the SFMTA board of directors approved at its last meeting.

The Central Subway is Phase 2 of the Third Street Light Rail Project. When service begins, this 1.7-mile extension of the existing T Third Line will connect communities from Visitacion Valley to Chinatown with modern, convenient light rail service. The improved service will decrease transit travel times, relieve congestion, enhance the environment, stimulate economic activity along the corridor and provide thousands of much-needed jobs along the way.

The project has consistently received positive reviews as part of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts program. The Central Subway has received $92 million in New Starts federal funding to date. Environmental clearance of the project was granted by the FTA in November 2008, while approval to begin final design was granted January 2010. The total project cost, with contingency, is expected to be $1.57 billion. The Central Subway is scheduled to open to the public in 2018.

Proposition K is a San Francisco voter-approved initiative which sets aside local sales tax dollars to finance transportation infrastructure improvements. It was approved by voters in 2003, and the Central Subway Project is included in Proposition K’s 30-year Transportation Expenditure Plan under Major Capital Projects.

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