Major construction has begun on the Doyle Drive Replacement Project, one of the nation’s largest, most complex and labor-intensive Recovery Act-funded highway projects. Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined state and local officials southeast of the Golden Gate Bridge as excavation began on the first of four tunnels.
For more than a half-century, replacing Doyle Drive has been a priority for state, local and federal officials. Recovery Act funding helped this project begin a year earlier than originally planned.
When completed in 2013, the project will replace the 73-year-old Doyle Drive southwest of the Golden Gate Bridge. The project will also result in structural and seismic improvements to the Presidio Trust and the Golden Gate National Recreation Area nearby.
“The Recovery Act is helping make travel in and out of the city safer and easier,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. “This major investment in labor, time and funding will directly benefit quality of life for San Francisco-area residents.”
The new access to the Golden Gate Bridge from the south side will feature six lanes and a southbound auxiliary lane of new roadway for 1.5 miles from the bridge through the Presidio Trust to Richardson Avenue/Lombard Street.
The improvements will significantly reduce the risk of an earthquake cutting off this key commercial artery for the Bay Area. Closure of Doyle Drive due to earthquake damage would have dramatic economic consequences. It is the city’s primary access route from the Golden Gate Bridge and links San Francisco with San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties to the south and Marin and Sonoma Counties to the north.
Twelve different funding sources, spanning federal, state, regional and local governments, will finance this billion-dollar project. The Recovery Act provides $129 million including $83 million in formula funds allocated toward the current tunnel excavation, and a $46 million Recovery Act-funded TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant. The TIGER grant will provide additional funding for construction of the Girard Interchange, which will create access from the Presidio Parkway to local roads, improve the safety of an aging road and replace a bridge rated as the worst in California for structural sufficiency.