San Francisco’s long-awaited cruise terminal at Pier 27 “topped out” Wednesday as workers, watched closely by Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials, put the final steel girder in place.
Coming just weeks after a similar ceremony at San Francisco General Hospital, it’s another example of the city getting things done, the mayor said in brief remarks before the ceremony.
“I love these topping offs because all of us want to see if the delivery is as real as the promises were,” he said. “There has been a prolonged discussion as to whether we can deliver and this shows that yes we can.”
The girder was topped with an American flag and the traditional evergreen tree and signed not only by the mayor and city and port officials, but also by many of the union workers involved in the project.
Even as the mayor spoke, the crash of hammers and sizzle of welding torches echoed in the background as workers continued their efforts on the structure, which is scheduled to welcome its first cruise ship in spring of 2014.
But before that happens, the structure will serve as the hospitality center for the America’s Cup yacht races next year. The area around Piers 27 and 29 will be the center of activity for the races, with the finish line just beyond the new terminal.
The finished terminal will include a 2.5-acre public park along the Embarcadero, designed to draw more people to the city’s waterfront. The facility is expected to boost the city’s cruise business, bringing in an additional $40 million a year to the city and creating 300 new jobs.
In an “only in San Francisco” moment, Lee recalled the past unsuccessful efforts to build a new home for the cruise industry in San Francisco by thanking city and port officials for the “building consensus implementation phase of this project.”