The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is facing opposition to its plans to use North Beach’s abandoned Pagoda Palace theater as the site for removing two tunnel-boring machines that are creating the Central Subway. The Pagoda itself was selected after community opposition to the original plan to remove the machines through a shaft on Columbus Avenue by Washington Square Park.
SFMTA says that of all of the options it studied, the Pagoda “is the only option that would minimize construction impacts in North Beach while leaving no physical impediments to a potential future extension of the T-Third Line to North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf.”
The group Save Muni, which campaigns against the Central Subway project, argued that the Pagoda site is a mistake “for a variety of reasons, including major geotechnical and groundwater problems, potential ground subsidence, threatened historic structures and threatened incursions into public parks.” The group has urged the City to prepare a new or supplemental environmental impact report on the project.
SFMTA estimated that the costs to remove the machines at the Pagoda site would be about $9.15 million, including leasing the property, construction costs, and reimbursements to the property owner.