Hundreds of workers are hustling to complete the nearly 2-mile-long central subway project in San Francisco. All the construction work has tested the patience of local business owners, but they say it should be worth the wait.
And how much longer is that wait?
Muni says they should have an answer in 6 weeks. Tom Maguire, acting SFMTA director said they are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
"I think the key message that we’re trying to give today is that we’ve brought an experienced professional to identify those variables, manage those risks, and get them down to the place where we can be really confident in the opening date," Maguire said Thursday.
That experienced professional, Nadeem Tahir, just took over as project manager. He says he’ll have a launch date within 6 weeks.
"I’m looking at the whole project, from top-to-bottom," Tahir said. "And looking at what is already done, finished. And what is left."
Previous delays in the project have left some businesses like Mestiza feeling a little icy.
"Very fair to say that it’s been disruptive," said Weyland Southon, manager of Mestiza Taqueria. "It actually almost put us out of business."
From the dining room of the restaurant, customers are treated to a prime view of orange barriers and jackhammers.
Southon was aksed how much stock he puts in the launch date promise.
"Almost none," he said. "I just have to wait and see. I mean, I’m open! It will be great if that is the case."
The SFMTA says the silver lining for affected businesses from Union Square to SoMa is that street level work will be done by this fall.
Maguire says there will still be "months of construction" and then "months of testing" ahead.