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(Formerly No North Beach Dig)

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Problems at the Pagoda construction site

Proposed July Pagoda demolition poses serious problems

What you can do: Contact these City officials and tell them to hold off on the Pagoda Theater demolition until engineering plans have been carefully reviewed and nearby property owners are apprised of all demolition plans and risks.

Noted geotechnical consultant says damage to nearby structures likely

Lawrence Karp, PE, a renowned geotechnical expert, addressed the gathering at the March 26 North Beach neighborhood meeting. Mr Karp did a recent survey of the Pagoda site and found numerous problems with the proposed excavation, where the soil at the site is unstable and where there is a high water table (a stream running through the property). If the proposed hole were excavated, about 50-foot square and over 40 feet deep, there would likely be damage to the the foundations of adjacent buildings, with associated reparations. One of the buildings is the historic 721 Filbert garage.

You can review his reports at

Karp Report 1   Karp Report 2   Karp Report 3

and the ARUP Engineering Fee proposal for the project.

New Muni documents show many Pagoda site problems ignored

Recent documents show that Pagoda costs have increased from $9.15 million to $13.7 million — with required test borings that may add more costs. These dollars are from Muni bus funds.

Let's do Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) extraction the smart way

  • Burying or extracting TBMs at the Chinatown subway station site will save up to $80 million --- funds needed to improve Muni service.
  • Subway projects throughout the world bury TBMs — as done recently in New York City, the Chunnel, Brisbane (Australia), and many more.

North Beach concerns

  • An independent geotechnical engineer warns of saturated sandy soils, soil subsidence and damage to adjoining properties — for which the City’s own engineer recommends further testing and analysis.
  • Don’t kill businesses unnecessarily!
  • Don’t damage adjacent property unnecessarily!
  • Per the Final EIR, MTA has the option of using the Pagoda tunnel to deliver construction materials to other sites along the Central Subway alignment — for years of additional disruption.

(Compiled by North Beach architect and resident Howard Wong, April 14, 2013)

Web site updated September 7, 2014;