Caltrans plans to announce schedule Tuesday

Posted by on Thu, May 11, 2006

Rock dowels being lowered over the cliff in preparation for initial repair work

Caltrans disclosed more details about the situation at Devil’s Slide and their plans to repair the highway at Wendnesday’s Pacifica City Council meeting. Caltrans plans to announce a schedule for repairs on Tuesday.

Keyhan Moghbel, who is in charge of the project, said that the slide movement has stabilized to the level of movement prior to the rainy season, which means that Caltrans can begin the repair. CalTrans has already begun initial repairs and material movement. The work will start while Caltrans is refining the design. Gordon Ball, which did the improvements on Highway 92, has been selected as the prime contractor for the work.  They have said they will get as many drill operators as possible and work around the clock on the repairs.  The contractor will meet CalTrans at the slide Thursday at 8:00am.

The design is similar to the 1995 design, using concrete piers in holes bored into the slide to tie the material together. But this time the piers will be in 150 foot holes instead of 65 foot holes, as they used before.  The number of bore holes and their locations appears not to have been finalized. Some logistical issues remain, including finding a way to position multiple drilling rigs for simultaneous use and uncertainty about what they will encounter as they begin to drill.

People at the meeting report that most of the public speakers were frustrated by Mr. Moghbel’s lack of responsiveness to question.  "He must have been asked in fifteen different ways to give us a worst case and best case scenario," said one observer. "He gave as many variants and didn’t budge."

Barry- Mr. Moghbel can not give a realistic schedule until the contractor starts work, drilling, & even then it may change +/- as work progresses. I know it is frustrating for everybody plus caltrans is still getting sued to stop the tunnel.

I spoke to Keyhan before the meeting & asked him if caltrans had told the coastside/hmb after the ‘95 fix of the road to start looking for an alternative route. He said yes.

My question: Why has it taken nine years to start the tunnel? We have only lived on the coast for four years. I’ve heard most of the alternative routes, coastside politics,only 3.6% of the counties population as per Mike Ferreira.

Steve Habelow
<email>[email protected]</email>

I have lived on the coast since 1998 when we moved here from SF.  I am a forth generation San Franciscan, my daughter fifth.  The slide has caused HWy 1 to close no less than 5 times in the past 35 yrs. Each closesure has been met with an even longer closure.  The issue, frankly, the basic and fundimental ineffectiveness of beauracracy today.  When we moved here in 1998 real estate was 50% cheaper then anywhere else in San Mateo, because the 1995 closure was still painfully in everyone’s mind.  The tunnels, based on the referendum which was unanimously passed by the voters should have been done last year. 

What HAPPENED?????

Someone apparantly found a red legged frog int he area???????  A frog blame it on a frog,or our own polital correctness which causes us to fall all over ourselves.  Just push the rocks in the ocean and get on with it.  Trucking the rocks out to a landfill is a wasste of time, but god forbid we kill same clams in the sand below..

Everyone should be aware of the deception that is built by clinging to issues such as, possibly, maybe hurting some frogs’ habitat. This is just a ploy by the few folks with their special interests of keeping the coastside for themselves, and trying to suppress growth. Folks should also be aware that people die on Devils Slide every year.

The assumption that humans have a right to drive or even live everywhere and the resulting selfish attitudes as expressed in this thread are appalling.  There are over 6.5 billion people on this planet, over 6 million of them right here in the Bay Area.  As such, preserving individual members of an endangered or threatened species is far more important than concerns about how long it takes to get somewhere.  Development should not be allowed to destroy any more natural land; humans have destroyed far too much already.  How about saving some of the Earth for those who really need it, like every other species?

I say close the road and DON’T build the tunnel.  If you want to live on the coastal peninsula, find a job there.  If you want to work in the City, live here.

And, BTW, this is no selfish rant.  My wife and I love to drive down the coast from SF to Pillar Point Harbor, and obviously cannot do so while the road is closed.  However, this is a very small price to pay in exchange for allowing nature to reclaim some badly needed land, and we’re glad to make this small sacrifice for that purpose.  This is about saving something for other species, not for humans who want a nice view.

Mr. Hoffman,

Your attitude that we who are living Coastside are simply whining about an inconvenience is not only ignorant but also insensitive and rude. As I shouldn’t have to point out to someone living in San Francisco, it is no easy thing to dictate where you will find both an acceptable home to raise your children and where you will find gainful employment to sustain them. It used to be that property this side of the hill was actually *cheaper* than elsewhere (and may be so again is my guess)—and it is certainly safer to raise a family here than in the more urban areas.

I am luckier than some—I am able to shift my job to telecommuting to some degree during this infrastructure crisis. But my employment and thus the livelihood of my family is threatened by this infrastructure crisis. And we feel abandoned by our governments - from the local level all the way to the top.

None of us are asking to “pave paradise with a parking lot” as it were—but to accuse us of selfishness for wanting basic lifeline infrastructure needs met is frustrating to say the least. Please educate yourself further before making such comments.

I certainly do agree with planning for the long-term to encourage preservation and restoration of this planet we call home. But that has to be balanced with the immediacy of the needs of everyday life. It is simply naive to tell people to get new jobs or move or ride bikes everywhere if they don’t like the roads.

Brian Dantes
El Granada

Mr Hoffmann

Being unable to drive from SF to Princeton may be a small price for you, but for the thousands of families who have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to live on the coast, the closure of a main traffic artery and the subsequent disruption is an enormous price to pay. I am all for the preservation of the environment, but ensuring decent access into and out of the coast does not equate with smothering the area with cement and building a Walmart. It is a matter of fundamental importance in terms of safety and the long-term sustainability of coastal communities, and the tunnel is the most effective method of balancing the needs of coastsiders and nature. If you’re so offended by the prospect of the road being reopened and the tunnel being built, then you and your wife go drive somewhere else and stop clogging the road for the people who live here

Jeff, don’t know how to respond to you.  Are you a millionaire?

You are not hearing my comments correctly. Human Life is way more important to me than any possibility of perhaps (with way more less certainty than the probablity of another death on devils slide) that some frog might have to move from its current habitat. Also note that your very existence right now (where you are living, and what you have done with your life) has caused some impact on some other species.

My opinion has nothing to do with the current drive time impact. My opinion has been formed by driving devils slide and realizing how dangerous it turly is.

There will be more habitat for frogs when the tunnel is done. I visualize you as MR. TOAD in his motor-car out on a pleasure drive. Instead of coming down here on a drive and eatin calimari why don’t you drive to hunters point in your lively SF and so a little toxic waste cleanup.

I have abosolutly had it with this boondoggle Caltrans has going on, it took about 1.5 hrs from 92/280 to ELG on mothers day evening, who was working on fixing the slide during those hours???? 

To fix the road and make it passable for the next 4 yrs. shouldn’t take more than a 2-3 weeks tops with a bulldozer and blacktop.  This is how the slide has been repaired in the past and it is how it should be do now.

If they could fix the back in the 30’s and 40’s
in a few weeks why can’t it be done now???CALTRANS.  That’s the difference they weren’t around in the 30’s-and 40’s.

I have abosolutly had it with this boondoggle Caltrans has going on, it took about 1.5 hrs from 92/280 to ELG on mothers day evening, who was working on fixing the slide during those hours???? 

To fix the road and make it passable for the next 4 yrs. shouldn’t take more than a 2-3 weeks tops with a bulldozer and blacktop.  This is how the slide has been repaired in the past and it is how it should be do now.

If they could fix the back in the 30’s and 40’s
in a few weeks why can’t it be done now???CALTRANS.  That’s the difference they weren’t around in the 30’s-and 40’s.

The responses here are precisely what I’ve come to expect from people who care more about money or things (my investment, my house, etc.) than about life.  I will respond to all of the responses, even the unwarranted personal attacks, then leave you to your website to grumble about how the big, bad government has failed you by not providing the type of planet you want.

Mr. Dantes:  There are many people who live and work in SF, and I’m sure many who live and work in your area.  You have clearly made your priorty buying a bigger house than you can afford in SF, but paying for it by your high paying SF job, with the environment being a mere afterthought, if that.  Otherwise, why not live in SF or work where you are?  Re safety for your family, that’s no excuse for destroying the environment by living a lifestyle that requires a lot of driving, which is one of the most environmentally destructive things a person can do.  Everything we do in life, aside from dying, is a choice, albeit some more difficult than others.  You don’t have to live far from your job, but that’s what you’ve chosen to do.

Re educating myself, it is YOU who need educating.  I’m well aware of the arguments advocating suburban lifestyles, and I thoroughly reject them.  Here are some areas where you need educating:
1. You say you don’t want to pave paradise, but that’s exactly what you advocate.  As I said there are over six million people around here and over 6.5 billion on Earth, so multiply your actions by those numbers to see their effects.  You should do some research or study, and you’d find that humans have impacted just about every inch of this planet in a negative way.
2. Research and study of ecology will also teach you how environmentally and ecologically destructive roads themselves are, an issue of which you are either not aware or just don’t care.
3. Driving is one of the most environmentally destructive things a human can do.  Choosing a lifestyle that requires significant driving on a daily basis is very environmentally destructive.

Finally, it is YOU who are insensitive and rude, not to me, but to the rest of the planet.  As I said in the beginning of my first post, you don’t have any moral right to drive or live everywhere.  Try saving something for other species.

Mr. McKinnell:  I’m not about money and couldn’t care less about the “hundreds of thousands of dollars” you’ve invested to live in a place where your lifestyle requires driving on a road that shouldn’t even exist.  That was your choice, you obviously didn’t consider (or know about) the environmental harm this lifestyle causes, and now you might have to suffer for that choice.  Why not admit you made a mistake and move on, instead of advocating for more environmental destruction and blaming others?

Re balance, I agree.  So, let’s see, humans either inhabit or effect just about the entire planet, leaving very little for every other species.  Therefore, we should balance this by removing humans and their effects from some areas and give other species a chance.  Let’s start with Devil’s Slide.

Linda:  No, we are working class at best.  We can afford to live in SF because my wife has lived in the same place for over 25 years and we pay very low rent.

Mr. Olson: We have no common ground for discussion if you think that members of an overpopulated species are more important than members of species whose numbers are unnaturally low.

Mr. Pond: Actually, I don’t own a car, my wife does, and she does so against my wishes.  As far as I’m concerned, there’s no justifiable reason for owning a car in San Francisco.  You can rent one for the rare occasions you leave town or otherwise need one, such as hauling things.  However, that’s far different than driving long distances on a daily basis.  More t the point, your post does not address the issues I raised and is just a personal attack on me.  I realize that the tunnel is less environmentally harmful than destroying the entire ecosystem east of the current road by building another one, and I initially, if begrudgingly, supported the tunnel as an acceptable compromise.  But if building the tunnel will harm rare frogs, then the tunnel should not be built.

Comment 13
Mon, May 15, 2006 12:26am
All my comments

Mr. Hoffman,

I tried several attempts to respond to your missive in a reasoned manner. But I realize that such extreme black and white views (despite the fact that there is likely some shared sentiments between us) are not to be argued with.

I am thankful that your vote only impacts us on a statewide and federal level - and not the county or the immediate communities.

When Devil’s Slide does reopen, given your strong feelings, I trust you will not be contributing your pollution to our air and clogging up the roads with the other tourists. You will not be missed.

Brian Dantes
El Granada

Hey Jeff—

You are exactly why i left the communist republic of San Francisco.  You can afford to live there because you live a rent controled apt.  You are a landlords worst nightmare, and having been a landlord in SF i knbow all about that boondogle.  Let’s make the property owners maintain their property for your enjoyment.  Talk about selfish you are it!!!

Boy was traffic a zoo on mother,s day? Had to go to OAK airport to pick up my wife left HMB @ 5pm took 45 minutes to get to traffic light @ the lake. My neighbor called & said she is stuck over the hill & wont try to get home till late cause of traffic coming west. Been in HMB since 6/69 & this is worst traffic fiasco iv,e seen yet am sure there will be more! But if it,s any consolation my neighbor was trying to get to Marin & gave up cause of traffic on 19 ave thru San Francisco. Am glad im retired & dont have to put up with the traffic like i did in 95 slide closure. So i guess since we are only 3.6% of the counties population we will only get 3.6% worth of road improvements moneys, than i suggest making 92 a toll road [coastside exempt of course] so the rest of the counties % of population that clog our roads can help pay for the privilage of ruining our paradise.
We should all wear a patch that says 3.6% like the motorcycle gangs wear one that says 1%.

Mr. Hoffman,
You are correct in saying that we have no common ground and that is actually because you do not live on the coast.

Also, your reasoning and your very existence is a contradiction, I would even say hypocritical.

And then one last thing. There is absolutely NO evidence to support the idea that improving highway 1 would jeopardize any species. And, there is hard evidence to support the fact that NOT improving highway 1 is jeopardizing human life.


I have to laugh at Mr. Hoffman’s missives. I can’t take them seriously.

Perhaps San Francisco should be torn down and restored to its natural state as of, say, 1700 or so—before the Mission period. Starting with Golden Gate Park and the removal of Highway 1…oh, and Geary, and Van Ness, and all of those other nasty roads, and every other structure in the city. After all, none of us should be driving anywhere. If we do choose to travel, it should be on foot, bicycle, or horseback only. And we shouldn’t live in houses either. Back to the yurts, comrades.

On a more serious note, I must say that I do wish we had a vastly improved public transit system out here. If it didn’t take most of the day to get to and from the Peninsula and SF via transit, I would use such an option. And I suspect others would as well.

Mr Hoffman -  I’m not necessarily agreeing or disagreeing with your arguments.  However, I find it amusing that a man who can’t even convince his own wife to give up her car thinks he can convince anyone else to do it.  Kudos for trying, though.  Really.

Yeah Ray & Gail,
Perhaps Mr. Hoffman should attempt to qualify to purchase a home and maintain the monthly payments, taxes and insurance instead of depending on his wife.  Enough is enough.

If I am not mistaken, (and I often am) most of the sensitive habitat that will be destroyed consists of an irriggation pond that served a farm below the bridge location. A much larger wetlands habitat is being created as part of the enviromental mitigation measures included in the tunnel project. this new wetlands is going to be the walmart of frog habitat.
  The Adventures of MR. Toad is fine children’s story and I apologize for the attempt at humor.
  I do respect your idealism and your idea that the human species is destroying the planet. At least you say what you think and stand by it.
  Let me rephrase the most offensive of my comments: I am glad to hear about the work at hunters point and hope you can get involved there, too (maybe on the weekends).