San Bruno BART Project Stalled For NowBy Sheri Baker Rickman
BART heading to San Francisco Airport hit a stall in San Bruno when a city resident noticed a problem possibly caused by construction.
Alice Barnes, who lived in the neighborhood near Tanforan Shopping Center, said she noticed a crack in the pavement of a parking structure at the mall while watching workers build what will become the city's BART station.
"I saw the crack while watching the construction and then I saw it again when I returned," said Barnes, adding that the mall was built on a landfill and any construction in the area could cause settling.
"In my opinion, because [the crack] happened so quickly, it was caused by the construction."
BART officials agreed that something in the area was shifting to cause the 60-foot long crack in the parking structure and shut down construction July 2.
Barnes said the crack grew from a small break in the pavement to a fissure large enough for a person to place a hand or foot into in less than a week.
"I've had experiences with construction," said Barnes, who said she used to work as a contract officer with the federal government. "When you dig a big hole 40 feet deep, things change."
Dave Madden, BART spokesman, said incidents such as this are not uncommon near major construction sites.
"This is a fairly common occurrence," said Madden, adding that he would not be surprised if buildings near sites like Pac Bell Park also had such problems.
"We detected settlement and stopped work, then asked the contractor to do a survey and give a report," said.
He added that construction may resume as soon as next week.
Although construction in San Bruno has been shut down most of the month, Madden said that the delay will not hurt the overall project.
"This is just one element of a march larger project," said Madden, adding that the contractor is also working on the Millbrae and South San Francisco station as well as the one in San Bruno.
Madden said efforts to resolve the problem are ongoing and if BART construction is found to be the cause the damage, the transit agency "will make good" on the issue.
Barnes said she believed further construction at the site should not cause more damage because of the way BART contractors are building the station tunnels and station box.
"I am impressed with the buttressing in the hole," said Barnes, explaining that when holes are dug for construction projects beams are put in place to prevent the sides from caving in. She said the method contractors are using to brace beams was done so well that there should be no danger to workers if construction begins again.
Copyright ©1999 The Independent. Published 07/17/1999.