SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5/ AP / BCN) ― San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal was turning into a pile of rubble, as crews took a wrecking ball Friday to the 71-year-old building to make way for a new transit center.

A crowd of onlookers lined up along Mission Street in the morning as a giant crane swung the wrecking ball directly at the ‘425’ address engraved on the front of the building.

“A little teary eyed to see something that’s original San Francisco go. But, nothing I can do about it,” said Mark Dudum, one of the onlookers.

“To me it’s a piece of hisotry, I love history, and to see it come down, it’s kind of sad,” echoed another onlooker, Dennis Haaf.

The downtown terminal began demolition after closing in August on the terminal’s bus ramps, roof and other areas, but the wrecking ball didn’t start swinging until now to tear down its exterior.

The ball will drop many more times over the next two months until the building is completely gone.

Nathaniel Ford, executive director of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, said the demolition work was on schedule.

Menawhile, program manager Emilio Cruz said that very little of what was torn down would go into a landfill.

Instead, crews plan to recycle the steel, and the concrete will be ground up and used in the new $4 billion transit center that will take the terminal’s place.

The modern transit hub will connect 11 transportation systems, including AC Transit, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit, Greyhound, San Francisco Muni, SamTrans, Amtrak and the future high-speed rail system between San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to the Transbay Joint Powers Authority.

The new transit hub is scheduled to open in August 2017.

In the meantime, a temporary bus terminal is located at Beale and Howard streets.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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