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San Francisco transit hub has 2nd cracked beam

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    People are directed around the Salesforce Transit Center following its closure Tuesday in San Francisco. San Francisco officials shut down the city’s celebrated new $2.2 billion transit terminal after discovering a crack in a support beam under the center’s public roof garden. A second crack was discovered today.

SAN FRANCISCO >> A San Francisco official says a new $2 billion transit terminal that shut down over a cracked support beam has a second adjacent beam that also shows signs of cracking.

Salesforce Transit Center executive director Mark Zabaneh said today that the so-called “Grand Central of the West” would remain closed “at least through the end of next week” as inspections continue.

He says the problems are localized to that area of the transit hub but that officials don’t yet know what’s caused the cracking.

Workers discovered the first crack early Tuesday while installing roofing tiles. Officials closed the center during Tuesday afternoon rush hour. Buses are being rerouted to a temporary transit center about two blocks away.

Enveloped in wavy white sheets of metal veil, the five-level center includes a bus deck, a towering sky-lit central entrance hall and a rooftop park with an outdoor amphitheater. Zabaneh said American steel was used in the center’s construction.

One resident of the San Francisco neighborhood where a transit terminal is closed out of safety concerns says the $2.2 billion used to build it could have gone to other priorities.

Juliana Cheng lives in the South of Market neighborhood where warehouses have been replaced by luxury high-rise condos and gleaming office towers amid a construction boom in the last few years.

The 32-year-old says it’s disappointing but kind of amusing that Salesforce Transit Center was shut down only weeks after it opened.

City officials in 2012 approved legislation to boost height limits on new buildings in anticipation of the transportation hub opening and as part of an effort to lure technology companies from Silicon Valley.

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