Subway Project Polarizes Community as Massive Funding is Sought from Government

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor The city is set to start on its very own Subway. And this bit of news is definitely not about sandwiches. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency awarded a substantial $233.6 million to American-Italian joint venture [...]

The city is set to start on its very own Subway. And this bit of news is definitely not about sandwiches. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency awarded a substantial $233.6 million to American-Italian joint venture Barnard Impreglio Healy in order to start digging procedures on the travel tunnel for the subway trains. The agency reportedly estimates the value of the project at about $1.6 billion and is relying heavily on government funding, having already received $96 million. Further funds haven’t received federal approval yet, but the total quantum of funding the city hopes to obtain stands at an impressive $942 million, according to The Bay Citizen.

The project has fallen under serious fire from groups such as Save Muni, according to the Citizen story. The organization includes members such as Howard Wong, a North Beach architect. Wong was quoted as saying that the Municipal Transportation Agency is making a mistake by starting the project without having obtained all the necessary funds. He also said that the large amount of money could be well spent in areas other than the subway project.

Supporters of the project include the likes of Rose Pak, a Chinatown power broker also quoted by The Bay Citizen, who supports the Central Subway because of the considerable amount of stress it will take away from the 30-Stockton bus line. The bus line is a must for any Chinatown resident that intends to get downtown, and the subway will be a very welcome change from the crowded atmosphere of the bus line.

According to the article, digging is set to begin in late 2011 and should be finished within three years. More than a thousand loads of dirt will be moved in digging the 8,240 feet of tunnels. There are serious expectations for the line, with 65,000 passengers set to be transported daily by the year 2030.