A new floating fire station, possibly the first of its kind in the world, arrived at its permanent home in San Francisco Thursday morning.
Fireboat Station 35, a two-story, 14,900-square-foot facility sitting on a massive steel float, was towed during the overnight hours from Treasure Island to Pier 22 1/2 along the Embarcadero near the Bay Bridge, according to San Francisco Public Works.
"The Loma Prieta Earthquake, the shed fire at Pier 45 and the water rescues performed with more frequency are just a handful of examples that demonstrate the importance of Fireboat Station 35," San Francisco Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson said in a statement. "The project will provide new and upgraded infrastructure and facilities for emergency equipment and personnel that’s needed to optimize the critical work they perform as first responders."
The fire department's three fireboats and rescue watercraft will be moored at the station, which isn't set to open to firefighters until the spring of 2021, the public works department said.
The 96-by-173-foot float that supports the station will be fastened to four steel pipe guide piles, according to public works. The structure will rise and fall with the tide.
"San Francisco’s new floating fire station is thought to be the only such design in the world," public works said in a statement.
The project cost $39.9 million, which came from the second phase of the Earthquake Safety and Emergency Response bond that was passed by voters in June 2014, public works said.
"This is a project that all San Franciscans certainly can take pride in," Acting Public Works Director Alaric Degrafinried said in a statement. "The ingenuity of the design takes into account the needs of the Fire Department and the realities of the changing climate to better serve a 21st-century urban environment and sea level rise."
Fire Station 35, built in 1915 and located next to the floating station, is "vastly undersized" and unable to meet the needs of the department. It also does not hold up to current seismic safety standards, according to public works. The building will continue to house equipment and a fire engine.