As soon as this year's Pride festivities wrapped up, construction began on the long-delayed new glass elevator at Castro Muni Station and Harvey Milk Plaza (Market and Castro streets).
On Monday, fencing went up along Market St. after notices were posted around the neighborhood of the upcoming work.
CLW Builders contractors on-site told a Hoodline reporter that the station will remain open while work is underway allowing commuters to go to and from downtown.
Construction started Monday on the new Castro Muni Station elevator. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
Hoodline readers will recall that SFMTA originally announced the $14.5 million, 18-month Castro Station Accessibility Improvements project in December 2018 with a completion date of 2022. The project is now slated to be completed by 2026.
The project was first delayed until Fall 2021 and again until Fall 2022. Now nearly five years later construction work has officially kicked off.
The new glass elevator will include four stops: below-ground at the inbound platform level, entry-level at the plaza and fare gates, street-level at Castro Street, and street-level at Market Street. The fourth stop was added at the request of the Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza (FHMP).
The elevator is required to bring the station into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Contractors from CLW Builders, Inc. have installed fencing along Market St. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
The new elevator will be constructed in the fenced-off area behind the plaza's display of photos honoring Harvey Milk. The project will also widen the sidewalk, replace the plaza's existing lighting, and regrade the pavement above Castro Station to make it more accessible.
Beautification improvements include replanting the concourse-level terraces and installing new fences and benches.
Construction hours are expected to be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The new elevator will be built behind the metal fencing. | Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
Castro station officially opened to subway service on June 11, 1980, less than two years after Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone's assassination.
The elevator construction was supposed to occur in twain with the FHMP redesign of Harvey Milk Plaza. FHMP executive director Brian Springfield tells Hoodline the redesign project is currently in its fundraising phase.
"We are operating under a plan to reach full funding over two fiscal cycles," said Springfield. Springfield explained that the project has requested both state and federal funding for fiscal years 2024-25 and 2025-26.
Rendering of the new four-stop glass elevator. | Image: SFMTA
According to Springfield, a capital campaign to cover costs related to the memorial elements of the redesign has also been quietly launched.
Springfield remains hopeful that funding around the plaza project will allow for the two phases of the project to be dovetailed. Springfield considers the elevator project Phase 1 and the plaza redesign phase 2.
"We're fortunate to have the support of both Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, State Senator Scott Wiener along with both our State Assemblymembers to cover transit and infrastructure enhancements," said Springfield. Senator Wiener has directed $2.5 million in state funding to the project.