With a multi-million dollar retrofit recently completed, the Transbay Transit Center is set to open about a month after an expert review panel concludes the balance of the building isn’t vulnerable to failing like the giant steel beams that cracked last year.
The $2 billion project was shut down in September, just a month after it opened last year, when cracks were found on steel girders that span Fremont Street. Since then, a total of four girders have been retrofitted with steel plates bolted on the top and bottom to form a reinforced sandwich. Transbay says the cost of the retrofit is already in the millions of dollars, but the final price tag has yet to be determined.
With that fix completed in late April, all it will take now is for the peer review panel to sign off on the findings of a review of similar structural steel connections on the project.
Transbay officials have concluded that the steel beams were not built according to welding code, with workers leaving behind rough edges in holes cut into the beams instead of grinding them smooth, as required by code.
In light of that finding, the peer panel is examining documentation and examining about a dozen now exposed parts of the structure as they seek to validate the entire structure as safe.
“Once we get to that point in time where the peer review panel is satisfied, then we can ramp up, which will take four to six weeks,” said Transbay senior construction manager Dennis Turchon after a meeting Thursday of the Transbay project governing board.
He said project officials are set to meet with the panel on May 22.
If the panel signs off on the building’s overall integrity at that meeting, he said, that would put the center on track to reopen in late June or early July.