Just as the Valencia streetscape construction is coming to an end, the city is getting ready to tear up Cesar Chavez.
It’s part of a two-year project to reshape the street and improve the sewer system beneath it. Cesar Chavez will lose a lane of traffic in each direction and gain wider sidewalks, a permanent bike lane, and a 14-foot-wide tree-lined median. The improvements to the Valencia streetscape lasted 11 months.
Even though there are not as many retail spaces in the Cesar Chavez construction area, the project comes at a time when several businesses on Valencia have complained that prolonged construction there has hurt their businesses.
Idil Bereket, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, said that the sewer project is long overdue because some of the pipes are 75 to 100 years old. Precita Creek, buried under the road years ago, still runs underground and overwhelms the sewage system during the rainy season. Some 6,000 feet of new sewer pipe will be installed during the course of the project.
The Public Utilities Commission (which oversees the sewer project) and the Department of Public Works (which oversees the streetscape improvements) scheduled their projects at the same time to cause fewer disruptions, Bereket said.
The streets that will be affected by the sewer improvement project include:
Cesar Chavez from Hampshire Street to San Jose Avenue
Harrison Street from Cesar Chavez to 26th Street
Valencia Street from Cesar Chavez to Mission
Fair Avenue from Mission to Coleridge Street
Coleridge Street from Fair to Coso Avenue
According to traffic maps provided by the PUC, the contractors will try to provide two lanes of traffic in each direction for the duration of the project. They will give advance notice of parking restrictions.
Work on the sewer is scheduled to begin in November and end in February 2012. The streetscape improvement will begin next summer and last nine months. These timelines are subject to change based on weather. The sewer system on Cesar Chavez will continue to function during construction.
The sewer project will cost $26 million, which will come from federal funds and the wastewater service fees paid by residents. The streetscape plan is still undergoing an environmental impact process.