Doyle Drive nearing end of road 

Doyle Drive, the creaky and aging southern approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, will be reduced to dust by the end of the month as part of a three-day weekend demolition that will shut down traffic on a segment of U.S. Highway 101.

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The 76-year-old roadway, which has received dismal seismic stability ratings from the federal government, will be taken down and replaced with a temporary bypass. The project is costing $1.04 billion.

Construction work will run from 8 p.m. April 27 to 5 a.m. April 30. The only way to access the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco will be state Highway 1 through the Presidio. There will be no access from Marina Boulevard or Lombard Street, and motorists are urged to avoid the area altogether.

The Golden Gate Bridge transit district will be running extra ferry service that weekend. Residents in the North Bay can take ferries or the Bay Bridge into San Francisco, said Molly Graham, a spokeswoman for the project.

Graham said the last weekend in April was chosen so the overall project could be completed as soon as possible. Planners also wanted it finished before the bridge’s 75th anniversary party May 27.

More than 40 hydraulic demolition hammers will be used to remove Doyle Drive, a process similar to the takedown of the Embarcadero Freeway two decades ago. Graham said the demolition, which will take 57 hours, is going to be noisy.  

The project will signal the end of the first phase of the rebuild of the structure, which will be rebranded as the Presidio Parkway when work is finished in 2015. While that new highway is being constructed, motorists will travel on a temporary bypass that connects San Francisco’s Marina district to the bridge.

The five-lane bypass will move traffic through a new tunnel and is set to feature a movable median barrier to meet changing traffic demands.

Although this week is expected to be rainy in the Bay Area, the adverse weather won’t delay the start of demolition, said Lee Saage of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, one of the agencies leading the project.

Planners have scheduled three public meetings to discuss the demolition. The first one is Thursday in Marin County. The Richmond Recreation Center in San Francisco will host the next one at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The third is scheduled a week later at the Fort Mason Center.

Rebuild project

$1.04B Total cost of project
2015 Anticipated year of completion
285,000 Sq. ft. of roadway that will be removed in April
5M Pounds of steel that will be removed
1½ miles Length of Doyle Drive
120,000 Vehicles that use span daily, on average

Sources: San Francisco County Transportation Authority, Caltrans

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Will Reisman

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