The saga of Doyle Drive is nearing its end.
After a closure scheduled for the end of this month, the rebuilt road will finally reopen safer and greener for motorists.
The section of Doyle Drive between the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marina will close to traffic 10 p.m. May 28, as construction crews place finishing touches on the roadway and tunnels. The closure will end 5 a.m. June 1. Following the construction, all of the roadways connecting Park Presidio-19th Avenue to the Marina, and the Marina to the Golden Gate Bridge, will reopen for the first time in years.
“I can’t tell you how happy we are to see it reach this point,” Tilly Chang, executive director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority told The San Francisco Examiner. “We’re starting to really realize the vision of the design.”
SPUR, an urban-planning group, and others have credited the Transportation Authority with cutting through a jurisdictional morass between Caltrans, San Francisco and other agencies to fund and complete the Doyle Drive project.
In 1989, the Loma Prieta earthquake rocked San Francisco, severely damaging the structural integrity of the Doyle Drive ramp. The ramp’s Federal Sufficiency Rating was once rated at 2 out of 100, according to the Transportation Authority. In layman’s terms, Doyle Drive was as structurally sound as a house of cards.
Reconstruction of Doyle Drive occurred in two phases starting in 2008. The new road is now also known as the Presidio Parkway. The new tunnels, dubbed the Main Post and Battery tunnels, have been alternatingly open to traffic during construction.
Peter van der Waart is the CEO of Golden Link Concessionaire, the private developer selected to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the project. He said the construction during the weekend closure is “tied together like clockwork.”
A command hub was established with cameras checking in on each section of construction, where about 200 workers will pour concrete and build in phases timed to the hour.
“We’ve been planning and scheduling this for months,” van der Waart said.
Golden Link Concessionaire funded the project through a combination of private and public money, which the state will repay over the next three decades.
Some construction will continue through 2016. The green tunnels will be the icing on the cake. Though bare now, by project’s end, they will be covered in grass, trees, benches, and trails open to the public.
The green design was first suggested by Michael Painter, a planner at SPUR, to help the tunnels blend in with the Presidio.
A video tour of the top of the new Presidio Parkway/Doyle Drive tunnels, which will in the next year be landscaped with greenery.
A Twitter photo from the soon-to-reopen Doyle Drive.
— Joe Fitz Rodriguez (@FitzTheReporter) May 12, 2015
During the closure, motorists are asked to avoid the area and travel by alternate routes or modes of transportation.
Northbound traffic should use I-80/San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge to I-580/Richmond – San Rafael Bridge.
Southbound traffic should use I-580 to I-80 to I-280 towards the San Francisco Peninsula. Highway 1/Park Presidio Boulevard to and from the Golden Gate Bridge will remain open; however, motorists are asked to avoid this route as it will be heavily congested, especially during Friday commute times.
There will be no access to Hwy 101 from Marina Boulevard or Lombard Street.