Mission Bay’s blockbuster corner has billions of dollars of projects under construction or planned

From beakers to baskets, the 1.5 million square feet of construction planned at 16th and Third streets makes the intersection one of the hottest in the Bay Area.

It also will make the Mission Bay neighborhood one of the most difficult to travel for tens of thousands of scientists, residents, hospital patients and construction workers.

While the Golden State Warriors build out a massive arena-office-retail development on one corner, UCSF will start construction soon on buildings on two other corners — all of this while the city plans three major infrastructure projects that alone would cause headaches.

“One of the biggest challenges is coordination,” said Scott Muxen, who oversees projects as director of capital programs for the University of California, San Francisco.

That is an understatement: UCSF is constructing a temporary parking lot on the northern edge of its campus to accommodate the more than 3,000 construction workers who will flood Mission Bay.

And it won’t become any easier. More than 60 Mission Bay projects by the city, UCSF and private developers are planned or under construction over three years, including the San Francisco Giants’ massive, $1.6 billion Mission Rock office-residential-retail plan, Uber Technologies Inc.’s 435,000-square-foot office building a block south of the Third-16th intersection and UCSF’s 270,000-square-foot Weill Institute for Neurosciences, which is under construction a block away.

With that in mind, city and redevelopment officials, UCSF leaders and developers are meeting monthly to coordinate construction services. What’s more, UCSF created a data clearinghouse with weekly reports from all the projects in the neighborhood, including street and sidewalk closures.

That level of coordination, Muxen said, is aimed at minimizing the impact on people already living and working in Mission Bay by preventing, for example, multiple companies lining up cement trucks along Third Street at the same time.

Still, managing the logistics is a massive undertaking.

While the Warriors and UCSF push toward 2019 completion dates, the city plans to replace a 35-inch sewer line along Terry Francois Boulevard on the northern edge of the arena project and the city plans intermittent shutdowns of Third Street to relocate a station along Muni’s K/T rail line and reconfigure tracks to allow for a train turnaround.

The Muni rail turnaround itself is designed to move people — the roughly 18,000 people attending Warriors games — in and out of Mission Bay more efficiently.

Meanwhile, the Lefty O’Doul Bridge — a major part of connecting Mission Bay to downtown — will close third street off-and-on for seismic improvements.

It all is enough for Muxen to have three full-time people dedicated to the coordination of UCSF’s building plans with the five dozen-plus other Mission Bay projects.

“This is unusual and unprecedented. Mission Bay is growing more rapidly than anyone really envisioned,” Muxen said. “It’s not just the rate, but the magnitude. It’s significant, and that’s why we’re spending so much effort to coordinate.”

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