Roland Lebrun SFCTAOctober 2012 Item #7 or #9Chair Campos and members of the Board, good morning and thank you for theopportunity.I strongly support the Caltrain downtown extension but I am addressing you today toshare concerns over the $2.5B cost estimate and the substantial construction impacts ofDTX south of Market and on Second street in particular, specifically the construction of amassive cut and cover tunnel 50 feet wide and 60 feet deep with 3 sharp bends requiringsignificant property takes.
I strongly believe that there are better solutions such as a twin-bore tunnel under theCentral Subway similar to the London to Paris high-speed tunnels running underLondons Central line east of Stratford International.There would be no surface impacts in SOMA other than the portal construction within theexisting Caltrain right-of-way south of Townsend and a potential intervention shaft in thevicinity of Columbia Square.
A major barrier to this proposal is the current train box design which is not deep enoughto enable access via tunnel boring machines in a dense urban environment.The only solution is to extend the train box another 40 feet down to a depth of 100 feetbetween Second and Fremont (for the time being) at a cost of $500M including the costof the twin-bore tunnel.
Last week, the TJPA approved package TG06 which would drive 1,800 micropilesstarting at 60 feet below the surface thereby closing the last door left open to tunnelboring machines and condemning the people of San Francisco to the full $2.5B DTXprice tag.
I urge you to stop production micropiling immediately while we evaluate alternativessuch as revisiting the 2009 3-level train box concept, with a big difference this timearound, because we would be saving $2B instead of wasting an additional $1B on thecurrent DTX alignment.
In closing, I believe that the $2B saving would be sufficient to connect Transbay to theeast Bay, thereby turning the terminal into a through station capable of handling in excessof 100,000 passengers/day as demonstrated during the 2012 Summer Olympics (withonly 4 platforms).I also believe that the economic impact of delivering a 10-minute connection betweenTransbay and the east Bay would far outweigh the $2B investment while providing reliefto the existing BART Transbay tube.Once this is complete, there should be no need for the shallow platform level required bythe current DTX design and the entire level could be turned over to commercial tenants.Thank you.