Islais Creek, which has been polluted twice in the past by toxic spills, could spring new life for employment in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood.
The creek, located just south of Cesar Chavez, is only one of two watersheds remaining in The City.
For more than two decades, Robin Chang has seen the potential Islais Creek has to bring jobs and economic growth to Bayview-Hunters Point.
Chang, president of the Friends of Islais Creek — a neighborhood organization whose goal is to restore and preserve the creek — hopes that will all change with San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s plans to put a motor coach yard on the north shore of the creek.
“A huge percentage of drivers and maintenance live in the Bayview,” Chang said. “It’s easier for them to get to work.”
Though the watershed has been the victim of diesel spills in the past, Chang is hopeful the addition will be more positive than negative.
In 1994, a Muni employee pumped thousands of gallons of diesel into a sewer near the creek, according to a website set up for the Friends of Islais Creek.
Then in 2001, while drilling supports for the T-Third Street Rail Bridge across the creek, a San Francisco Public Utilities pipe was accidentally dislodged, spilling thousands of gallons of sewage into the creek.
Chang, though, said since this project is located on land, it will hopefully be different.
“This project isn’t as complicated,” Chang said. “That was a very big project.”
According to SFMTA, the first phase of constructing a new housing bay for motor coaches, which includes excavation and infill of the 8.4-acre site, is expected to begin in the fall, SFMTA spokeswoman Kristen Holland said.
Phase Two will build the structure that will house the buses used by Muni as well as 16 maintenance bays.
The entire cost of the project is $57 million. Holland said the project should be complete by 2012.
The new bay will replace SFMTA’s Kirtland Motor Coach currently located near Pier 39. The Kirtland facility, first built in 1950, is small and outdated, according to the transit agency.
The Islais Creek project has gone back and forth for years, according to Bayview/Hunters Point Project Area Committee Coordinator Bill Dennis.
He said it is about time the plans move forward to bring jobs to the area.
July 2010: Award contract
Fall 2010: Start work
Phase one: Demolition/infall; bus yard; fuel bays
Phase two: 16 service bays; shops; and administrative offices
Cost: $57 million
Completion date: 2012