San Francisco subway construction causes a rat invasion

Updated Nov 19, 2013
A rat near San Francisco’s Central Tunnel construction. Credit: Michael Short, The ChronicleA rat near San Francisco’s Central Tunnel construction. Credit: Michael Short, The Chronicle

It’s not uncommon for a city to receive complaints about construction. Despite the knowledge that improvements are being made to infrastructure or a new building is join up, traffic backups and noise due to construction can quickly become annoyances after even a short period of time.

But for San Francisco residents, it’s the rats.

According to a recent report from the San Francisco Chronicle, the construction of the city’s Central Subway tunnel has caused rats to scurry up from beneath the ground in droves.

San Francisco resident Rolando Hernandez told the paper that he’s used to rats, but that this situation is unlike anything he’s ever seen before.

“They climb up and down the fence like Spider-Man,” Hernandez told the paper. “In the mornings, I come in and the ground is littered with feces. It looks like a carpet, there’s just so much of it.”

Construction work is known to make rats flee the jobsite area and because of that the responsible agencies are required to have a plan to trap them before they spread to far into the city. For its part, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency says it did set up traps before construction began, adding that it hadn’t received any complaints about the rats.

However the city’s Department of Public Health told the paper that the MTA had not yet implemented a plan to contain the rats that the department created for the site. They are hopeful the plan will be implemented soon. In the meantime, residents are urged to call 311 if they see a rat.