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San Francisco's Central Subway Gets Delayed In Chinatown

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- A Central Subway line will run from San Francisco's Chinatown through Union Square and connect with BART and the rest of the Muni metro system.

But the the project is expected to be delayed by roughly 10 months.

For anyone who lives or works in Chinatown, it is more than a public transit project.

Lynn Yuan, a Chinatown business owner, said, "So the Chinatown businesses it hurts a lot, it really hurts the businesses."

Now the Chinatown dig is delivering the Central Subway's first major setback, a dispute with the contractor over the construction schedule at this station.

SFMTA spokesperson Paul Rose said, "Right now we're looking at, at least, a 10-month delay."

We went underground for a tour of the Union Square station back in February, word then was that the project was on budget, and considered to be on schedule.

Central Subway project manager John Funghi said then, "Looks like we'll be finishing from the south a little bit earlier, then completing from the south and moving north."

Now that the northern end is nearly a year behind schedule, there's the other concern.

Rose said, "There are no direct budget impacts to this project, what we're looking at is a timing delay."

It's also a black eye for a project many have questioned from the start.

This is, after all, a 1.7-mile rail line costing nearly $1.6 billion, or nearly $176,000 per foot.

Rose said, "We understand that a 10-month delay isn't the best news, but at the end of the day, we're going to get this done, and get it done under budget."

We reached out to the contractor to get their side of this, but they declined to comment.

The two sides are now holding talks to resolve the dispute and hopefully agree to a new work schedule.

If and when that happens, we'll have a better idea of just how long of a delay the Central Subway will see.

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