Devil’s Slide tunnels to cost more but be finished sooner

HALF MOON BAY — The lower of two bids on the Devil’s Slide tunnel project could bring the twin tunnels to completion one year sooner than expected — although for $32 million more than the California Department of Transportation’s $240 million estimate.

Caltrans officials unsealed two bids on phase two of the project Tuesday afternoon, one from Omaha, Neb.-based Kiewit Pacific that offered to construct the tunnels for $272 million in 1,500 days, or roughly four years.

Shea, Traylor, and Atkinson of Walnut bid $322 million and 1,900 days, the same length of time Caltrans engineers estimated it would take.

“We’re very pleased with the outcome of the bid process,” project spokesman John Cunliffe said. “On the surface the figures are way over what we’ve estimated, but when you look at the lower bid … the economic benefit of getting it in a year early is tremendous, given how vital the link is.”

Kiewit Pacific built the new Benicia-Martinez Bridge and is currently building the eastern “Skyway Segment” of the renovated San Francisco Bay Bridge, a project notorious for being long-delayed and over budget.

Plans to bypass the treacherous, unstable stretch of Highway 1 between Montara and Pacifica known as Devil’s Slide have been in the works for decades. After extensive political fighting, a plan to build two 4,200-foot-long tunnels was approved by the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in 1998 and construction crews broke ground in March 2005as part of the tunnels’ first phase.

Devil’s Slide has suffered several closures due to landslides. Most recently it was closed from April 2 to Aug. 4, following slides caused by the winter’s heavy rains. In the mid-1990s, the roadway was also closed for five months after similar slides.

“They’ve done a great job of shoring up the old road … but you never know what Mother Nature will do,” said Half Moon Bay Mayor Marina Fraser. “We cross our fingers that it will hold for the next five years.”

bwinegarner@examiner.comBay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Ali Jamalian, whose life was disrupted in the wake of being charged with possession decades ago, now heads up Sunset Connect, a cannabis manufacturing company. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Green Rush: Cannabis equity program elevates unexpected entrepreneurs

‘It’s a form of reparations for those of us who were ruined by cannabis arrest’

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

San Francisco supervisors approved zoning changes that will allow a chain grocery store to occupy the bottom floor of the 555 Fulton St. condo building. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Trader Joe’s approved for Hayes Valley, bringing long-awaited grocery store

New Seasons Market canceled plans at 555 Fulton St. citing construction delays

Shek-Woon Ng, 107, who retired at 99 from his acupuncture practice in San Francisco’s Chinatown, got a COVID-19 vaccination in June. <ins>(Courtesy Sky Link TV)</ins>
Lesson from a 107-year-old man who is now fully vaccinated

One in four seniors in S.F.’s Chinatown have not been inoculated

Most Read