San Francisco's brand new Transbay Transit Center will remain closed at least until next week after crews on Wednesday discovered a second crack in one of the steel beams adjacent to another beam where crews discovered the first crack on Tuesday.
The executive director of the $2.26 billion transit center, Mark Zabaneh, said at a news conference Wednesday that an "adjacent beam to the beam in question" sustained some cracking, though not to the same extent to the crack discovered on Tuesday.
Zabaneh said the cracks are localized to the East side of the building on the Fremont Street section of the center.
"We have no reason to believe at this point whatsoever that the situation is anywhere but the Fremont Street, but again, out of abundance of caution and for public safety, we're going to expand our investigation," Zabaneh said.
Mayor London Breed visited the four-story transit center Wednesday to meet with Transbay Joint Powers Authority leaders and city department heads to discuss the investigation into the crack in a support beam.
"We must have a thorough and transparent investigation to determine the causes, severity, and impacts of this discovery, as well as a plan to re-open the Transit Center as soon as it is safe to do so," Breed said.
Buses will be diverted to the old Temporary Terminal, located at Howard and Beale streets. Transbay users should be aware Fremont Street between Howard and Mission streets is also closed, according to the SFMTA.
Workers discovered the first crack early Tuesday while installing roofing tiles at the Salesforce Transit Center, Zabaneh said. Engineers spent the day inspecting the damage, and Zabaneh said they decided to shut down the station around 5 p.m. Tuesday, just as the afternoon rush hour started.
Zabaneh said the cause and the extent of the damage were unknown and the decision to close the terminal was made out of an "abundance of caution."
"The behavior of the beam is unpredictable," Zabaneh said.
He said structural engineers would continue inspecting the building Wednesday to assess whether it is safe for people to return.
It is not clear at this time when officials will provide an update on the status of the transit center.
The TJPA said in a statement that crews discovered a fissure in one of the steel beams in the ceiling of the third level bus deck on the eastern side of the transit center, which was named the Salesforce Transit Center after tech giant Salesforce bought its naming rights.
"Out of an abundance of caution, the TJPA, after conferring with design engineers and contractors will temporarily close the transit center as the agency works with Webcor/Obayashu and structural engineers Thornton Tomasetti to investigate and repair this issue and conduct an exhaustive inspection of all steel beams throughout the transit center. Inspections have begun," the TJPA said in their statement.
There are several transit and traffic impacts due to the center's temporary closure as well as the closure of Fremont Street between Mission and Howard, particularly during peak commute hours, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority said.
Motorists are asked to avoid driving downtown, transit riders are encouraged to allow extra time for their commute and call 511 or go to 511.org to get up-to-the-minute transit information.
AC Transit Lines will drop off and depart from the previously used bus bays at the temporary Transbay Terminal. Routes affected are: B, C, CB, E, F, FS, G, H, J, L, LA, LC, NL, NX, NXC, NX1, NX2, NX3, NX4, O, OX, P, S, SB, V, W, Z.
Muni routes also will drop off and depart from the temporary Transbay Terminal. Affected routes include: 5 Fulton, 5R Fulton Rapid (on Howard at Main), 7 Haight/Noriega (on Main at Howard), 25 Treasure Island (on Beale and Folsom), 38 Geary, 38 Geary Rapid (On Main at Howard).
For the latest details on street closures and bus routes affected, go to the SFMTA website.
Nearly two decades in the making, the transit center opened in August, connecting thousands of Bay Area residents to the city's downtown area.
Stretching four city blocks, the transit center boasts pop-up retail shops, art displays, shopping, dining and a 5.4-acre rooftop public park. The next phase of construction, the $4 billion Downtown Extension Project, will connect 1.3 miles of underground rail between the center and the Caltrain station at Fourth and King streets. That project is expected to be completed in 2028.
Transit agencies currently operating at the transit center include Alameda-Contra Costa Transit, Greyhound, San Mateo County Transit District, the Western Contra Costa Transit Authority, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and the outside bus plaza in June.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.