Right now traffic flows in both directions on the new elevated section of Doyle Drive. Phase two of the replacement project will build another elevated roadway alongside the new one, where the old structure sits now. When completed, the side-by-side bridges will carry three lanes of traffic in each direction, with shoulders.
"Well this is as good as the grand slam yesterday, I think," said Assemblyman Tom Ammiano. "If you know how long this has been in the cooker, so to speak."
Much of the old Doyle Drive was demolished in a speedy 57 hours in April. The remaining structure will be torn down beginning sometime before the end of the year and will take three to four months. Phase two will also include construction of multiple tunnels, which will change the view of the Bay, and access to it from the Presidio main post. This phase of the $1.4 billion project is being built thanks only to new state legislation allowing a public private partnership. This segment of the replacement project is the first of its kind.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the new parkway is the perfect step following transformation of the Presidio from military base to urban national park, "Of course it's just like when you get a new sofa and you decide we need a new rug and gotta paint and all that. So once we did this then we were like, Doyle Drive, we've been trying forever, long before the Presidio, to do something about Doyle Drive it was not a safe place."
The 76-year-old roadway was an example of the state's aging and neglected transportation infrastructure. Much of the money to replace it came from one-time sources of stimulus money and the massive voter approved Measure 1B.
Caltrans Director Malcolm Doughtery says these days, transportation funding is hard to come by, "So we have to be very specific on the priorities that we attack, and we have to look and be creative on how we fund projects. And public private partnerships will be a part of that solution."
Construction on the new Presidio Parkway should be completed in 2015.