Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cesar Chavez Boulevard Improvements

For those wondering what that mess is all about on Cesar Chavez Boulevard in San Francisco, here is the lowdown: They are in the process of replacing a giant 8 feet diameter sewer pipe that runs under the whole length of Cesar Chavez Blvd, from Guerrero Street to the 101 freeway, and also under Valencia Street between Chavez and Mission St (where the Burger King is) as well as under several adjacent streets. So what we see right now around Harrison Street is just the beginning! Once they are done with the underground work, Cesar Chavez blvd will be redesigned, with an addition of bike lanes and a median, plus trees on both sides. 

Car traffic will be reduced to two lanes in each direction (versus three currently). Left-turn lanes will be added at some intersections, and sidewalks will be widened at street corners. The whole project is supposed to last two years...

Cesar Chavez Blvd runs along what used to be Precita Creek, a stream that used to run from Twin Peaks down thru Noe Valley along 24th street, and into the Bay at Islais Creek (Chavez & 280). In 1878 the City of San Francisco decided to fill in the creek and replace it with large underground pipes. If it wasn't for these pipes, the rain water runoff from nearby hills would flood the area several times a year. Now these pipes are over a hundred years old and need to be replaced.

San Francisco Historical Creek Map. C. Chavez area outlined in red. Click to enlarge.

More on the Cesar Chavez project at
More on San Francisco's underground waterways at


  1. Would've been cool if they'd just left the creek.

  2. Yeah, I could be fishing from right outside my window!


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