(KTSF by Sean Au) The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has submitted the Full Funding Grant Agreement to the Federal Transit Administration on Monday, for the nearly $ 1 billion of federal funding.
Signs of the $1.578 billion project can been seen near Moscone Center and Union Square where utility lines are in the process of being relocated to accommodate the Central Subway.
The building which will be the site of the future Chinatown station will be vacated by November 1 and demolished early next year. The SFMTA has said that the underground project will be using methods used in mining to avoid affecting surface trafffic.
San Francisco voters passed Propositions B and K which helped raise $126 million for the Central Subway. The project is now waiting for $942 million of federal funds to cross the last hurdle.
Republicans have introduced a bill that will halt funds for projects that receive more than half of its budget through federal funding. But this bill is likely to affect the project after November 1 if it moves forward. Democrats have raised their opposition to the bill.
The SFMTA is confident of getting the necessary funding to complete the project. Project Manager for the Central Subway Project John Funghi says, “If you evaluate the project based on the transportation benefits itself, it has been highly rated, receiving a medium high rating for the past 4 yrs. So in terms of the federal government’s own process of evaluating projects and prioritizing projects, the Central Subway is one of the highest in the nation.”
Funghi points out that if the City loses the $1 billion in funding, this money will not be given to the City or the agency for other projects. It will be given to other cities to fund other important projects in the nation.
SFMTA adds that the Central Subway project has moved into its second phase with service to Chinatown. In future stages, the Central Subway line could be extended to North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Presidio.
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