Union Square, a neighborhood that has been torn up and rearranged as part of the Central Subway construction work, faces more changes starting this weekend.
On Saturday, the section of Grant Street between Geary and Sutter streets will be converted to two-way traffic. On Monday, Stockton Street will be shuttered to all cars except for emergency vehicles between Ellis and Geary street, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, which is overseeing the project.
The changes are necessary to accommodate construction crews, which have been working on underground utility relocation projects at Union Square for the last year and a half. The construction of the Union Square Station — one of four new sites being built as part of the $1.6 billion project — is expected to begin shortly.
The new traffic alignments are expected to last for the duration of the Union Square construction work, which is scheduled to wrap up in 2017. However, Stockton Street will reopen for the winter holiday season spanning Thanksgiving to New Years.
The 30-Stockton, the 45-Union and the 8X-Bayshore Express already have been rerouted around the construction sites. The 38-Geary is maintaining its current route, but the SFMTA has warned passengers that construction could cause delays on the line.
Sidewalks in the area will remain open, although the passageways might be narrowed. Motorists will be directed around the street closures by signage and parking control officers.
Karin Flood, interim executive director at the Union Square Business Improvement District, said merchants have been in close contact with the SFMTA about the changes.
“We’re living through this,” said Flood, whose organization supports the Muni extension project. “We view this as short-term pain for long-term gain.”