Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Up, up, and away


Transbay Transit Center shut down after broken steel beam discovered

The $2.2 billion Transbay Transit Center, which opened in August, has been shut down by officials after a crack was discovered in one of the beams in the ceiling of the third level bus deck.

“Crews today discovered a fissure in one of the steel beams in the ceiling of the third level Bus Deck on the eastern side of the Salesforce Transit Center near Fremont Street,” read a statement from the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

All transit inside the terminal, including Muni, Golden Gate Transi, and AC Transit, will temporarily move to the old temporary terminal on the block bounded by Folsom, Howard, Beale, and Main Streets.


“While this appears to be a localized issue and we have no information that suggests it is widespread, it is our duty to confirm this before we allow public access to the facility.”

The "ceiling of the third-level Bus Deck," by the way, is perhaps more accurately understood as: THE FLOOR OF THE ROOFTOP PARK.

When we first moved here, 30 years ago last month, one of the things I was fascinated by was the Kaiser Center Garage Rooftop Park:

The garden opened in 1960 as the first “true” post-World War II rooftop garden in the United States. The garden’s hardscape incorporated materials such as aluminum and cement made by Kaiser Industries for many of its large-scale projects around the world.

Ah, yes: the "hardscape."

It was apparently a pioneer in the entire concept of rooftop parks:

The primary challenges in developing the garden were drainage and weight. Drainage is provided across the sloped roof, through the use of downspouts which run through the 5 stories of parking spaces to a storm sewer in the basement. The heavy loads of mature trees were placed directly over support columns running through the garage. All of the trees chosen (olive, holly oak, japanese maple, and southern magnolia) have fibrous root systems, which I suppose makes them well suited for a shallower planting.

The Library of Congress may have more information, as part of the: Historic American Buildings Survey.

The Kaiser Center Roof Garden remains one of the nicest parts of downtown Oakland.

Let's hope that the Transbay Transit Center becomes a Historic American Building for a good reason, like the Kaiser Center Roof Garden, and not for a "shut it down! the steel is cracking! get out now!" reason...

Yes? Please?

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