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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.

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Rigoberto Hernandez

Rigoberto Hernandez is a journalism student at San Francisco State University. He has interned at The Oregonian and The Orange County Register, but prefers to report on the Mission District. In his spare time he can be found riding his bike around the city, going to Giants games and admiring the Stable building.

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  1. The project described runs from Hampshire to Guerrero only, but the citywide bike plan does include bike lanes on the eastern segment of Cesar Chavez, so Caltrain users will eventually get a clear path for the whole way. The freeway maze, meanwhile, is the target of yet another campaign to make it more bike and ped-friendly. Good news all around, but it’s all going to take some time.

  2. Will the new bike lane go all the way to caltrain? that would really open up access to 22nd street station to residents of the whole area!!! I really hope that the bike lane doesn’t just end at 101…..

    anyone know? all the maps i’ve seen focus on the mission area part of ceasar chavez and dont show anything east of 101….

  3. I think it’s reasonable to partly blame long term street construction for loss of business. Not all of it! But some.

  4. Daylighting would be awesome. And to the businesses whining about the valencia project, I’d ask: can you really untangle the worst recession in decades froman 11 month streetscaping , which incidentally will pay dividends for years to come?

  5. Precita Creek floods at the 101 entrance (by 26th/Cesar Chavez) every year. Is daylighting totally off the table? Seems like it would be cheaper, more responsible, more sustainable, etc.

  6. “Just as soon as the Valencia Streetscape construction came to an end, the city is getting ready tear up Caesar Chavez.”

    I’d change that to “TO tear up” and make sure you remember how to spell Cesar Chavez. People get unhappy.