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A) As of 18 Oct 89 all reports from Division General Managers to General Manager indicate no significant structural or secondary damage to any Muni facilities including tunnel, track systems, OHL systems, power supply, yards and shops, vehicles. No negative reports received from UEB and DPW. This situation holding as of noon, 19 Oct 89.

B) UEB (Utilities Engineering Bureau) reports that the old Geneva building is unsafe and should be abandoned. There is no change in status for the Railway. This pre-1906 building is a relic, and was already damaged by the 1906 earthquake and its subsequent 83 years of use. The functions in the building were "informal" and expedient.

C) Minor damage: Ceiling tile drop at Cable Car carpenter shop at Woods. No impact on current operation. Minor cost.

Ceiling tile dropped at Woods transportation building. Minor cost.

D) Inspections were made of Muni facilities, utilities and equipment by Muni engineers and UEB engineers. No major problems were encountered except for the old Geneva brick building (item B above).

2548-24TH STREET,
SAN FRANCISCO. CA 94110-3587
(415) 695-5100

October 23, 1989

TO: Lynwood Messer, Acting General Superintendent
FROM: Robert Ramirez, Track Maintenance Superintendent

SUBJ: System Inspection, Wednesday, October 18, 1989

Following the earthquake on October 17, 1989, the entire track system was inspected by Track Maintenance personnel. All subway tracks overhead and tunnel walls were found to be in good condition. The surface trackway was also found to be in good condition. No track repairs were necessary. The following defects were noted in the inspection:

1) Guide wire down at 44th and Judah, called in to Overhead Lines at 9:20 a.m.

2) Several lights were out in Twin Peaks Tunnel. Phil Cornyn stated he was waiting for special fixtures for repair.

3) Minor concrete chunks found in a few niches in Twin Peaks Tunnel.

4) One brick knocked out of cinder block wall at Civic Center TR, wall is unstable and has been boarded up by Joe Glynn.

5) 1/16" cracks noted in tunnel walls between Castro & Church, O/B. They seem old and very minor.



TO: W. G. Stead
FROM: E. W. Pearson
DATE: October 24, 1989

Following the earthquake of 10-17-89, inspections were conducted to ascertain infrastructure damage that created unsafe conditions or damage that would prevent Muni from resuming normal operations.

Inspections included not only the structural elements of facilities but utilities and equipment as well.

Two types of inspections were conducted. The first inspections were for the purpose of identifying immediate hazards and any impediments to securing vehicles and facilities. The second inspections were more comprehensive in nature and were done in order to identify the less obvious problems that would require correction.

In general, the first type of inspections were conducted shortly after the earthquake by the on site managers and supervisors on duty at the individual facilities. Scott Broder of MRED together with the subway engineer inspected the subway and tunnels. Line Department inspected the overhead system for obvious damage.

On the morning following the earthquake, I contacted personnel on site at all Muni facilities in order to ascertain that this preliminary-type survey had been conducted and that any unsafe conditions had been secured.

More detailed and in-depth inspections followed. These were conducted by UEB engineers familiar with the structural elements of Muni facilities and by personnel from the Track Department familiar with conditions in the subway and tunnels. This type of inspection noted the following:

  • Type and nature of cracking in concrete structure

  • Debris such as dust or rubble indicating spalling or structure movement

  • Alignment and positioning of major structural features

  • Presence of water or seepage

  • Any other change from previous condition and appearance

In general, no major problems were encountered with one exception.

Minor cracking in finished surfaces, displacement of various appurtenances, fallen fluorescent tubes and similar problems were encountered at many locations. None were serious. The brick structure at Geneva however, showed new damage in the form of spalled bricks to the south wall cornice. This fact taken together with the general deteriorated condition of the facility made it necessary to declare that facility to be unsafe for occupancy.

In the course of discussing the event with on site supervisors and others, it became obvious that cost effective improvements could be made to emergency systems most notably lighting, power and communications. Emergency work is underway to identify and describe improvement projects to address these areas.

Detailed inspection reports from UEB, Ways and Structures, and MRED are appended.




October 25, 1989


TO: Richard E. Brandt
FROM: Don Chan


After the October 17, 1,989 earthquake UEB Engineers and Architects conducted safety assessment of numerous Muni structures. Following is a summary of findings which I have divided into three categories.


Old Geneva Car Barn: William Wong, R. Bittencourt, Tin Tam, and Ernie Tom conducted a rapid evaluation safety assessment of building exterior on October 18 an d found building was posted as "Building Unsafe, Keep Out" by Muni. After careful inspection of building exterior, inspection team declared the building unsafe and roped off what appeared to be two main entrances to building with yellow tape. Inspection team then informed Harry Jensen, Superintendent of Metro Center, of situation and he agreed to close off building until Ernie Tom can return to inspect building interior next day due to dangers of aftershocks.

Ernie Tom, Patrick Lau and I conducted a detailed evaluation safety assessment on October 18. There were dangers of the exterior wall falling down and the roof collapsing into the office area. Muni roped off the sidewalk along San Jose Avenue and the yards along the east and north walls. Patrick Lau posted the building as "Unsafe, Do not Enter or Occupy" on October 23. More engineering evaluation is required to design remedial measures to eradicate the hazards.

Ways and Structures and Non-Revenue Vehicle Maintenance at 24th & Utah:

Tom Mullaney performed a rapid evaluation safety assessment of facility on October 18 and found no visible signs of damage as a result of the October 17 earthquake.

Structural Engineer Ernie Tom performed a detail evaluation safety assessment of this 150,000-square-foot unreinforced brick/wood facility on October 23. Ernie's opinion is that this building would not be able to survive another earthquake of the same magnitude. Ernie recommends the following:

1) Improve building maintenance and correct maintenance items mentioned.

2) Even though building was essentially in the same state as it was before the earthquake, reduce the number of occupants and work units in building as soon as space becomes available elsewhere.

3) Engage UEB or an outside consultant to design strengthening measures to bring building up to current earthquake standards as soon as possible.

Muni Metro Turnaround: Patrick Lau inspected the Embarcadero Freeway on October 19 and noted that the freeway section along the Embarcadero Water Front had suffered severe structural damage.

The concrete columns piers at the location of the future Muni Metro Turnaround have failed in the diagonal shear mode. One pier foundation settled as much as 6 inches, and moved sideways as much as 2 inches. Concrete has been spalled out from the face of column beam joints. This is a failure phenomenon second in severity only to structural collapse. Patrick Lau concluded that the freeway is unsafe.

Presidio Division Facility: John Fong, Robert Chun, Callistus Reid and Chris Nelson conducted rapid evaluation safety assessment on October 18. They smelled gas in boiler room. They observed cracks in the mezzanine office, elevator wall and purchasing bay; and Muni personnel working under buses on elevated lifts. Inspection team reported hazards to Bruce Burnhard and Building Engineer Joseph Sabatell, and advised them not to have people working under the bus lifts until aftershocks are over.

Structural Engineer Ernie Tom performed inspection on October 23 and recommend the following:

1) Provide temporary shoring for beam at damaged beam-column junctions. Repair by chipping off damaged concrete, form, and pour new concrete. (Ernie Tom posted the affected area with an unsafe notice requiring temporary shoring on 10-24-89.)

2) Engage concrete crack repair experts. to epoxy inject long cracks running through roof slabs and beams in purchaser's space. if needed, UEB can assist in getting this work done.

3) Remove or repair the cracked exterior plaster at southwest corner of the building.


Woods Motor Coach Facility: Alex Kwan, Jim Wallsten and Raj Desai conducted a detailed assessment on October 18. There was a complete ceiling system failure in the Carpentry Shop. About 50 percent of the ceiling tiles and their supporting flanges have fallen to the floor. Inspector team advised the acting foreman to keep the shop closed until the situation was remedied.

Inspection team also conducted a careful visual inspection of each building and all interior spaces and determined the remaining portions of this facility to be safe.

Subhash Shastri and Alex Kwan did a follow up inspection of carpentry shop on October 23. All ceiling tiles and intermediate tracks have been removed. Carpentry shop is now safe as long as ceiling tiles and tracks are not reinstated without laterally bracing the entire ceiling system to building code.

Forest Hill Station: Tom Mullaney and Callistus Reid conducted a detailed evaluation safety assessment of station on October 20. Station agent reported increased water leakage in stairways down to platforms. Since October 17 earthquake. This problem would be separately reported to Muni by Tom through Brandt. There were no reports of or any visible signs of structural damage resulting from October 17 earthquake.


Potrero Trolley Coach Facility: John Fong, Chris Nelson and Callistus Reid conduct a evaluation safety assessment on October 18. Parts of facia at Southwest corner have fallen. Inspection team reported this to Foreman Bob Hagins and requested that caution signs be posted around and under the entire Southwest corner of building.

The other noticeable damages were spalled concrete around column bases of 2nd floor offices (facing north) and popping of yard trench drain.

Structural Engineer Ernie Tom performed a detailed evaluation on October 23 and determined that the building is safe to occupy, although it needs to be seismically-upgraded to current building codes. Southwest corner should continue to be roped off until aftershocks are over.

Van Ness Station/Church Station/Castro Station/West Portal Station/Central Control Station: Tom Mullaney and Callistus Reid inspected Stations on October 20. There were no reports of earthquake damage. Inspection Team found no visible earthquake damage except for small hairline cracks on employee's bathroom floor at Castro Station.

Cable Car Barn Facility: John Fong, Callistus Reid and Ruperto Gonzales inspected barn on October 18. Team observed some hairline cracks on the second floor balcony, facing Mason Street and reported findings to Superintendent Don.

New Geneva Car Barn/Geneva LRV Shop/Geneva Metro Center: William Wong inspected buildings on Oct 17 reported no visible earthquake damage.

Kirkland Bus Yard Operations & Maintenance Buildings: Patrick Lau and Chris Nelson inspected buildings on October 20 and reported no visible earthquake damage.

1401 Bryant Street Building: Patrick Lau and Chris Nelson inspected building on October 20 and reported no visible earthquake damage.

23rd Street and Illinois PCC Storage Warehouse: Tom Mullaney and Chris Nelson inspected building on October 20 per Bruce Bernhard's request. Inspection team found no apparent earthquake damage. Tom Mullaney called Bruce's office and left message to that effect.

Muni Scott Facility: Everett Hintze inspected building on October 18 and reported no damage. Lisa Chow reported no damage to building from aftershocks on October 19.

Welton H. Flynn Motor Coach Facility: Patrick Lau inspected building and reported no damage to building.

In addition to the above PUC safety assessments, more than 20 UEB Engineers (mostly ESD) were deployed on October 19 and 20 to assist OPW in building safety assessments.


October 25, 1989

TO: E Pearson

FROM: S. Broder

SUBJECT: Post-Earthquake Subway Inspection

After reporting to Central Control I was directed by W. Stead to conduct an inspection of the subway immediately to ascertain the condition of the subway before trains in the subway were removed.

I was joined by D. Waugh, Muni Subway Watch Engineer. We inspected inbound and outbound tracks by foot and flashlight from West Portal Station to Embarcadero Station from approximately 7:30 p.m., 10/17/89, to 12:30 a.m., 10/18/89.

During the inspection we checked for track and switch alignment, structural damage to the system (cracks, etc.) and utilities damage (broken conduit, fire standpipes, etc.).

We found only minor concrete spalling on the walls and niches in Twin Peaks Tunnel due to rusted rebar near the concrete surface. We found no other damage to the system.

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