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

Many famillies have supported keeping John F. Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park free of car traffic. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over future of JFK Drive heats up

Shamann Walton compares accessibilty issues to segregation, likens street closure to ‘1950s South’

Tara Hobson, center, principal at SF International High School, welcomes a student back on Monday, April 26, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFUSD seniors get a chance to say goodbye to school in person

Deal to briefly return older students to school leaves many parents and teens dissatisfied

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City College union deal staves off layoffs, class cuts

One year agreement allows community college time to improve its finances

San Francisco Giants pitcher Logan Webb (62) faced down the Rangers Tuesday in a two-game sweep by the giants. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Webb posts career-high 10 strikeouts as Giants finish sweep of Rangers

The Texas Rangers arrived in San Francisco with one of the hottest… Continue reading

A Homeless Outreach Team member speaks with homeless people along Jones Street in the Tenderloin on Wednesday, May 6, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Breed proposes another street outreach team to divert calls away from police

San Francisco would launch a new street outreach team to respond to… Continue reading

Most Read