new_transbay_01.pngThe Transbay Joint Powers Authority Thursday unanimously approved an agreement with an artist who will create a 41-foot sculpture at the new Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco that will be made of recycled materials from the old bus terminal.

The $1.15 million sculpture, scheduled to be completed in 2015, will be located at the corner of Mission and Fremont streets in the city’s South of Market neighborhood, where the new transit center is scheduled to open two years later, said transit authority spokeswoman Stephanie Reichin.

The transit authority Thursday approved the design of artist Tim Hawkinson, who will make the sculpture using concrete pillars, jersey barriers and a street light pole from the site of the old Transbay Terminal, which closed in August and has been demolished.

Luis Cancel, director of cultural affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission, who is partnering with the transit authority on the project, said Hawkinson “wanted to be consistent with the city’s civic spirit” by reusing the old materials.

“Being a city that prioritizes recycling and being sustainable, he’s certainly taking advantage of that,” Cancel said.

The artist has described the sculpture as a guardian figure marking the intersection or transition of a journey, and the figure will point a finger toward the rest of San Francisco.

The sculpture will weigh about 80 tons and requires a seismically safe foundation, according to Cancel.

He said it will start being built at the site in a couple of years, although “in a way construction has already started because elements are coming out of the former building.”

The sculpture is the final piece of a $4.75 million public art program established by the transit authority, which is required by San Francisco law to set aside a fraction of the project’s costs for art installations, Cancel said.

The new $4 billion Transbay Transit Center is scheduled to open in 2017 at the site of the former terminal. A temporary terminal is in place in the meantime at Howard and Main streets.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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