Construction has begun on the $1 billion, 9-year replacement
of Doyle Drive that will continue through early 2013 and will affect traffic in the Presidio district and people who commute across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Doyle Drive currently rates 2 out of 100 in structural sufficiency and will be replaced with a new structurally sound and earthquake-safe road called Presidio Parkway, according to the Doyle Drive Replacement Project. Also known as Route 101, Doyle Drive is the south entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge and is unequipped to handle increasing traffic volume.
“I like to take Doyle Drive to get to school because it’s prettier and faster,” said junior Kristy Harty-Connell. “But sometimes the traffic is crazy, and so hopefully the construction will make things better.”
See Doyle Drive and the planned changes.
In addition to the rebuilding of Doyle Drive, roads throughout the Presidio will temporarily be cut off in order to reduce traffic. These changes may be made permanent depending on their effects on the traffic routes.
Originally, construction on Doyle Drive was put off until politicians could reach an agreement. However, an accelerated construction process was put into effect in order to prevent a major economic crisis in the event that a large-scale earthquake damaged the roadway.
Doyle Drive has been the subject of debate for over 50 years. In 1955 California legislatures attempted to widen the highway to eight lanes, 1991 saw the formation of a Doyle Drive Task force, and in 1994 the National Park service release the Final General Management Plan Amendment, which laid out the main goals for Doyle Drive.
Despite the rush to start work, developers are working to create a new roadway that will be long lasting and safe for the environment.
Along with using environmentally sustainable building materials and making
the road safer for bicyclists and pedestrians, the roadway will also “restore some of the scenic beauty and views of the Presidio and San Francisco Bay,” according to the Doyle Drive Replacement Project.
The pre-construction process began in Dec. 2005 with the removal and collection of native plants as well as the relocation of utilities that ran along the roadway. The project coincides with a large-scale reconstruction of the Golden Gate Bridge.
“All this construction is really annoying,” said Harty-Connell. “Too bad that it’s not going to be finished until I’m in college.”