Presidio Tunnel Tops, SF's newest park space, starting to take shape

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Flying over the Presidio Tunnel Tops project, you can start to see the dream taking shape - San Francisco's newest park space, cascading down from the tunnels forming the new Presidio Parkway, towards Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge. Senior project manager Rania Rayes says the idea was to make use of the natural bluff.

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"It opens up opportunities for viewing areas, for scenic overlooks with heightening the drama of the site," explains Rayes.

And at the bottom sits what may look like the world's biggest set of Lincoln logs. One by one, they're being pieced into an adventure playground and immersive learning center. Design team manager Kerry Huang says the onion shaped climbing enclosure is actually modeled from an Oriole's nest that can be found in the Presidio's forest.

"It has two layers of nets inside and you can climb up and down and around and when you're at the top you can have a window out to the Bay, and you're perched out there like a bird," says Huang.

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Some of the benches and installations will be crafted with fallen trees from the Presidio forest. But the massive logs that form the unique play structures were trucked in all the way from Canada. Some assembly required.

"Yes! When it arrives it's big piles of logs," says a chuckling Kaitlin O'Brien with Swinerton Construction.

And in a historic first, O'Brien found herself part of an all-female management team for the project, comprised of the Presidio Trust, Swinerton, and James Corner Field Operations.

"It's been amazing. I never thought when I entered construction I'd have an all-female team," she says.

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But gazing across the Bay-front site, it all seems part of a broader vision. A project, somehow as unique and sweeping as the landscape itself.

"That transition from the historic main post, down to a more natural area along the waterfront was always something that we aspired to knit together," says Rania Rayes.

Handiwork, the whole Bay Area will soon enjoy. If all goes well, the Presidio is hoping the Tunnel Tops space this fall.
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