SAN FRANCISCO – The new, state-of-the-art Doyle Drive opened for the first time to drivers at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 12. This opening marks a major milestone for a project that has transformed the northern waterfront for San Francisco, turning an aging, outdated roadway into a graceful parkway and gateway to San Francisco and the Presidio national park.
Doyle Drive, which links San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge, had been closed for an extended weekend since July 9 to allow construction crews to make final roadway preparations. The new Doyle Drive features numerous safety enhancements, including a roadway that meets current seismic safety requirements, a landscaped median separating north- and southbound traffic and standard shoulders. Funding for the project was supplied through a combination of federal, state and local sources, underscoring the breadth of cooperation that enabled this transformative project to take shape.
“This is a great moment for San Francisco as we complete the transformation of Doyle Drive and open the new Presidio Parkway,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. “This project represents the best of our city: our innovative thinking and entrepreneurial spirit, respect for our natural resources and beneficial partnerships between the public sphere and private sector. I was proud to fight for this project in Congress, securing $130 million in the Recovery Act, $18 million from across federal transportation funding and an innovative $150 million federal TIFIA loan for this public-private partnership. Investing in our infrastructure creates jobs, increases our safety and improves the quality of life for all the hardworking families who commute over our roadways.”
“In addition to bringing Doyle Drive up to current seismic safety standards, we were also given the opportunity to design a roadway that reflected the natural beauty of the Presidio, Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Golden Gate Bridge,” said Malcolm Dougherty, Director of Caltrans.
“As the first public private partnership (P3) project approved by the California Transportation Commission, the Commission is pleased to see the timely delivery of the Presidio Parkway P3 project – a project that demonstrates innovation in funding and project delivery,” said California Transportation Commission Chair Lucetta Dunn.
“The Presidio Parkway is a stunning addition to our city’s landscape,” said Scott Wiener, Chair of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority and Metropolitan Transportation Commission member. “We thank the public for their support in providing $65 million in transportation sales tax funds and $80 million in bridge toll funds for this facility. We also thank Caltrans and Golden Link Concessionaire for their skill and collaboration in delivering this transformative infrastructure project.”
“The Presidio Parkway project team has done an amazing job bringing Michael Painter’s vision to life. We are grateful to all the partners for delivering a safe and beautiful roadway to San Francisco’s northern gateway,” said San Francisco Supervisor Mark Farrell, whose District 2 includes Doyle Drive.
Tucked into the scenic contours of the Presidio, the new roadway respects and enhances the natural beauty of the national park it traverses. The design features many elements – including new tunnels – that create new open space extending the Presidio to Crissy Field.
The project met high standards for environmental stewardship, and the first phase recently received a Greenroads Certification, making it the first sustainable highway project in the country. The second phase of the project is already in the process of pursuing Greenroads Certification.
The Presidio Parkway project was also the first in the state to be completed under an innovative Public-Private Partnership (P3) agreement since enabling legislation passed in 2009. The P3 calls for Golden Link Concessionaire, the developer who financed, designed and built the project’s second phase, to operate and maintain the entire Doyle Drive for 30 years. This arrangement allows for steady funding and ongoing maintenance of the roadway to ensure a sound facility is returned to the state in the future.
“This is an exciting time for all the project partners. This project has been rewarding to build, both for its elegant design and breathtaking setting. We at Golden Link Concessionaire are looking forward to taking care of this beautiful roadway for the next 30 years,” said Peter van der Waart van Gulik, CEO of Golden Link Concessionaire.
Though the new Doyle Drive is open, there is still much work to do before the Presidio Parkway project is completely finished. Construction activity will continue into mid to late 2016 and will include removing the temporary bypass, reconstructing Halleck Street, replacing historic buildings, covering the tunnels and installing landscaping.
Landscaping the project will occur over the next year. All land within the Presidio will be returned to the Presidio Trust. A plan for the remaining acreage within the state’s right-of-way is being developed, taking the serious drought conditions into consideration as a guide. Prior to the start of construction, the project collected seeds and plants that were used to grow more than 65,000 native plants to be used for landscaping.
# # #