San Francisco officials shut down the city's celebrated new $2.2 billion transit terminal Tuesday after discovering a crack in a support beam under the center's public roof garden. Coined the "Grand Central of the West," the Salesforce Transit Center opened in August near the heart of downtown after nearly a decade of construction. It was expected to accommodate 100,000 passengers each weekday, and up to 45 million people a year. The center is operated by the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, where executive director Mark Zabaneh says workers discovered the crack around 10am while replacing roofing tiles.
Zabaneh says engineers spent the day inspecting the damage and decided to shut the station around 5pm, just as the afternoon rush hour started, the AP reports. "The beam is cracked," Zabaneh says. "The behavior of the beam is unpredictable." Zabaneh says the crack was found near a weld on a stress-bearing horizontal beam. He says he did not know how long the crack was. Zabaneh says the cause and the extent of the damage were unknown and the decision to close the terminal was made out of an "abundance of caution." He says structural engineers were working at the building Tuesday night to assess whether it is safe for people to return.
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