The Mission Braces for Street and Sewer Overhauls

Construction crews replace sewer pipes on Shotwell Street as part of 24th Street repaving project.

En Español.

Mission residents can anticipate seven more months of open trenches and orange vests as city agencies prepare to add one more street to the neighborhood’s growing portfolio of aging roads and sewers getting an overdue makeover.

Guerrero Street between 19th and Cesar Chavez streets, which hasn’t been resurfaced in 30 years, is the latest to go under the knife — the sixth project in the Mission for city agencies this year, officials said.

Residents and business owners view the noise and parking restrictions with annoyance, while trying to take the long view on potential improvements.

“When my son was going to school at [Leonard Flynn Elementary] we avoided Cesar Chavez like the plague,” said Rosi Bustamante, a nearby resident, referring to the roadwork project there.

“It’s just going to be unpleasant,” she said of the new construction plans. “But it’s a good thing because I know what the end result is, so I don’t mind.”

Guerrero Street will be repaved after contractors finish replacing sewer mains along the corridor, said Alex Murillo, communications manager with the Department of Public Works. The project is set to start in September and will last for eight months, Murillo said.

The pavement on the mostly residential street is in poor condition. Construction crews will grind off the existing surface before repaving. Crews will replace sewer pipes from 19th to 20th streets and from 25th to Cesar Chavez. The voter-approved 2011 Roadways and Pavement Bond will pay for the project.

On the other side of the neighborhood, Potrero Avenue will be repaved from Alameda to Cesar Chavez streets. During the second phase of the project, a new median will be constructed from 21st to 25th streets, Murillo said. The pavement phase is set to begin in July 2014 and end in June 2015, to coincide with improvements at San Francisco General Hospital.

These two projects add to the four already underway in the Mission, including the 24th Street repaving, the Cesar Chavez streetscape project and the Folsom streetscape project. Streetscape projects are designed to improve the pedestrian experience by widening sidewalks, constructing medians and planting trees along the corridor.

As with most public works projects, these have raised eyebrows of business owners in the area, who are worried that noise and disruption could affect their business.

Jorge Bermudez, the owner of Rancho Grande Appliance store on Cesar Chavez and Bryant streets, said the sewer replacement and repaving work makes customer access more difficult. While DPW has been responsive to his needs, allowing him to keep his loading and unloading zone, the construction still dampens his business, Bermudez said.

Bustamante said she is glad the city is finally paying attention to needed improvements on Cesar Chavez.

“On every project, I treat it as if I live on the block,” Murillo said, assuring neighbors that DPW will try to minimize disruptions.

Mission District Repaving Projects Currently Underway

Folsom Streetscape Project (19th to Cesar Chavez streets)

  • Time Frame: February 2013 – December 2013
  • Cost: $5.44 million
  • Agencies: SFPUC, DPW

24th Street Sewer and Paving Projects (Guerrero to Potrero streets)

  • Time Frame: February – November
  • Cost: $3.4 million
  • Agencies: SFPUC, DPW

Florida Street Water Main Project (16th to 26th streets)

  • Time Frame: August 2012 – June 2013
  • Agency: SFPUC

Cesar Chavez Streetscape Project (Guerrero to Hampshire streets)

  • Time Frame: Summer 2011 – December 2013
  • Agency: SFPUC

Bernal Heights: Folsom Sewer and Paving Project (Cesar Chavez to Alemany)

  • Time Frame: January 2013 – July 2013
  • Cost: $2 million

Projects Planned for Later in 2013

Guerrero Streetscape Project (19th to Cesar Chavez streets)

  • Time Frame: September – March 2014
  • Cost: $3.1 million
  • Agencies: DPW, SFPUC

Projects Planned for 2014

Potrero Avenue Streetscape Project (21st to 25th streets; Potrero Avenue will also be repaved from Alameda to 25th streets)

  • Time Frame: Summer 2014 – Summer 2015
  • Cost: $3.2 million
  • Agencies: DPW, SFPUC

Bernal Heights: Mission Water Main Replacement (Cesar Chavez Street to Cortland Avenue)

  • Time Frame: Starting tentatively on January 2013 (10-12 months)

Bernal Heights: Mission and Valencia Green Gateway Project

  • Time Frame: 2014 – 2015

The costs for some projects were not available by publication time.

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  1. Schlub

    How realistic are these timeframes? The Cesar Chavez streetscape project is only halfway done (and seems to be stalled) and it’s now well past the dates stated above.

  2. Suki

    They’re realistic. We’re done (Florida Street) And instead of everybody ripping there hair out, they might try relaxing. It’s not that bad.

  3. Freedom

    I love all the improvements being made in our neighborhood! Thanks DPW!

  4. Pamela

    So far the improvements have been great where I live in Bernal Heights. Good work DPW!

  5. Fred

    Are @Freedom and @Pamela employees of the DPW? The company that the DPW contracted (Synergy) to do this same exact work on a 3 block span in my neighborhood took 10 months on a 2 month job. Not to mention the numerous safety violations on the job site.

  6. Blurpy

    I’m still waiting for *the rest* of Folsom street to get repaved. They did it up to a point then kinda skipped around 21st street to Cesar Chavez…

  7. Dave

    Funny how I have been told that there is not any money to fix South Van Ness….medians….bulb outs…etc.
    There apparently is money if you live on the right streets

    • Old Mission Neighbor

      SVN was repaved last year. What do you mean?

      • Dave

        Repaving SVN is not calming the street, rather a bare bones minimum standard. If traffic calming consisted of only repaving the road we wouldn’t be reducing lanes and other traffic using other calming measures on the other major streets in the Mission. SVN is plagued with speeding dangerous traffic and endured many major accidents regularly. It needs to be calmed asap.

        The new roadway is appreciated but way more need to be done.

        • Old Mission Neighbor

          There has to be some non-calmed street running North-South in the Mission. There has to be a fast way to get from Market to Bernal/Excelsior/etc by car. Don’t you think?

  8. Jorgenoe

    Make sure they repave the whole street, On Noe between 17th & 18th they only repaved half the street. It looks kinda half *$#.

  9. Alex

    Wondering if there is any plan to widen the sidewalks further up Valencia? The stretch (15th to 19th I believe) is fantastic, would love them to extend it further, up to 24th. Anyone know if there is a plan for this?

  10. Chavez street has been a bad mess since 2011 and is very messed up now. It would be great if the community received regular updates.
    These long delays with no info would not be accepted in other neighborhoods.
    That said I am looking forward to the streetscaping. Looks great on paper.

  11. Brad

    I hope they underground all the utility lines on those streets at the same time.

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