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Second cracked bar found on $2B San Francisco ‘Grand Central’

FILE: Mike Eshleman, AC Transit, leads people away from the Salesforce Transit Center after the closure.

(AP)

Now there is a second bar with a crack in it.

San Francisco officials worked Wednesday to find the cause of cracking in two beams that exit from a newly opened, $2 billion transit center that was supposed to be the symbol of the city’s reputation for innovation.

Also known as the “Grand Central of the West,” the transit terminal was opened in late August in the South of Market district after almost a decade of construction and $6 million over budget.

I find it disappointing, but also kind of funny because they built a really big, they spent a lot of money. I feel like the money should be used for a lot of other things.

– Julianna Cheng

Julianna Cheng, 32, who lives nearby, burst into laughter when asked about the crack.

“I find it disappointing, but also kind of funny because they built a really big, they spent a lot of money,” says Cheng. “I feel like the money should be used for a lot of other things.”

“I don’t know. Maybe this is a sign,” she said.

Employees are doing the maintenance on Tuesday morning took the first crack on a steel bar that the transit center on the roof of the park. A second, smaller crack was found later that day on a parallel beam.

Engineers decided to shut down the terminal around 5 am just as the rush hour started.

“We are working hard to remedy the situation,” says Mark Zabaneh, executive director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which is active in the hub. “We are very disappointed about what happened; we will get to the bottom of this.”

Pictures of a cracked steel beam found in the Salesforce Transit Center are shown during a press conference.

(AP)

The steel, who came from Stockton-based Herrick Corp., appeared fine when they were installed in January 2016, Zabeneh said. Engineer David Friedman said the installation of a garden on the roof and other structures on the top of the terminal probably added new stress on the beams.

The shutdown, which Zabaneh expected to last until the end of next week, it sent the city of San Francisco in chaos. The buses were rerouted to a temporary transit center about two blocks away that was used during the construction. A downtown street that runs under the bar, was also ordered closed for an indefinite period of time, making commuting a nightmare.

Salesforce.com, Salesforce, open adjacent 61-story Salesforce Tower earlier this year bought the naming convention of the rights of the transit center in 2017 as part of a 25-year, $110 million sponsorship deal. The terminal is expected to accommodate 100,000 passengers per weekday and 45 million people per year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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