Federal government to supply $150 million to build Devil’s Slide tunnel

Posted by on Sat, March 12, 2005

U.S. Department of Transportation will give California $150.3 million to build the Devil’s Slide bypass tunnel. That’s about the only news in this Chronicle story. The remainder is about how happy everyone is that it’s going to be built.

I’m very interested to find out Caltrans plans as far as traffic diversion while the tunnel is being built. Anyone heard anything? I, like thousands of other coastsiders, commute to the city every day. I know the tunnels going to be a good thing, but in the 5 years they say it’s going to take to build, how many years/months will we have serious disruption as commuters?

I want to publicly thank Congressman Tom Lantos for his efforts in securing $150 million in federal funds for the long-awaited Devil’s Slide tunnel project.

As a member of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, I was proud to protect former State Senator Byron Sher’s SB 792 from stalling on the way to the Governor’s desk, despite some opposition from within the committee’s membership.  SB 792 allows Caltrans to transfer to the Department of Parks & Recreation a right-of-way property no longer needed to realign Highway 1 at Devil’s Slide.

SB 792 and the federal funds secured by Congressman Lantos are critical in moving the Devil’s Slide tunnel forward.  This project is important not only to protect the watershed, wildlife, and other surrounding environment, but it is imperative that our Peninsula has a safe and viable coastal pass to transport goods and commuters.

For over three decades, many San Mateo County residents and civic leaders have worked tirelessly to see that this project come to fruition.  This latest assistance will certainly allow the tunnel to become a reality and allow the protection of the San Mateo County Coast.

Leland Y. Yee, Ph.D.
Speaker pro Tem
California State Assembly

Thank you for your efforts, Assemblyman Yee. I was worried when the Coastal Commission introduced yet another roadblock, and I was delighted at the way you dealt with the problem promptly, and even more so when the governor signed the bill.  Now with funding secured this project will finally see the light of day.  Great job!

There is conflicting information in the Chronicle story and in the HMB Review: According to the Chronicle, “Caltrans is expected to break ground on the six-year project on May 6.”  According the the HMB Review, “Groundbreaking has been scheduled for April 5, with a ceremony and after-party at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.”

Anyone know which source is correct?