SF Drivers Warned about Demolition Delays, Noise

The demolition of Doyle Drive, the southern connection to the Golden Gate Bridge that has been in place since 1936, is scheduled to begin April 27-30.

If a highway closing can be called a major event in the life of a city, the April 27-30 closing of Doyle Drive qualifies. The outdated, 75-year-old road is the southern connection to San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and is being demolished starting with this shutdown. Traffic will be rerouted onto a seismically safe temporary road, but Presidio Parkway officials are warning motorists to expect long delays and plenty of noise.

"During the closure weekend, crews will use a fleet of 40 demolition hammers, now in transit from sites around the country. The machinery ranges in vertical reach from 30 to 56 feet, relying on hydraulic mechanisms to crush, hammer and chip away the old bridge. Demolition over the weekend will occur around the clock and will focus on 'conflict points,' areas of Doyle Drive where the old roadway lies in conflict with the new bypass. This will allow crews to connect the bypass to the new permanent tunnel and bridge. After the corridor reopens on Monday morning in the new alignment, crews will turn their attention to the demolition of Doyle Drive's remaining segments, which is expected to take several months," according to the project's news release. It says progress updates will be posted throughout the weekend at http://presidioparkway.org/.

The $1.1 billion project is a partnership among the California Department of Transportation, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, Presidio Trust, the National Park Service, California Department of Veterans Affairs, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway Transportation District, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the Federal Highway Administration.

Doyle Drive (also known as Route 101) was built in 1936. It is structurally and seismically deficient, so it is being replaced by the 1.6-mile Presidio Parkway in a project that will conclude in 2015. The first phase began in 2009; it included the construction of the Ruckman Bridge on Highway 1, the southbound High Viaduct, the first of four new tunnels, and the temporary bypass. The weekend demolition starts phase two.

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