Devil's Slide bypass tunnels

After nearly five decades and $439 million, the new Highway 1 bypass at Devil’s Slide is set to open March 25. The bypass avoids a section of highway between Pacifica and Montara known for multiple landslides and deadly car accidents. The twin tunnels, which extend through San Pedro Mountain, will be the first new highway tunnels to open in California in nearly 50 years. They feature state-of-the-art technology with huge exhaust fans and carbon monoxide sensors. We discuss the tunnels’ construction and the environmental and political roadblocks its proponents met along the way.

Gary Richards, transportation reporter known as "Mr. Roadshow" for the San Jose Mercury News
Zoe Kersteen-Tucker, spokesperson for Citizens Alliance for the Tunnel Solution, a group formed in 1995 to pass Measure T, a ballot measure to fund construction of a tunnel
Skip Sowko, CalTrans engineer and project manager for the Devil's Slide bypass tunnels
Lennie Roberts, legislative activist with the Committee for Green Foothills, an environmental advocacy group


    Unable to send email. Please forward to Mr Krasny.
    Show idea. Only 1 bookstore left, down from 9, in San Jose area.
    In 1985 there were 9 bookstores within 5 miles of my abode in San Jose. By 2010 there were 3. Since then 2 of these are gone, and as of January of 2013, there is only one bookstore left.
    Causing a tad bit of concern. Maybe folks would like to talk about what is causing this, and how to bring more bookstores back.

    • Guest

      What’s causing it? Tech speculation and the concomitant gold rush, combined with housing speculation, have hit and will continue to hit small businesses and working people hard. While Silicon Valley has many “hangers on” who serve the rich and live good lives, those people who serve the non-rich like non-corporate bookstores really don’t stand a chance.

  • Guest

    Hopefully the engineering on core columns and such won’t be as shabby as the work on the Bay Bridge. I mean, if they find a defect I hope they did fix it.

  • Question:
    There is no bike-pedestrian access from the Pacifica (Linda Mar) district side.
    Are there any plans for a non auto route(trail?) that will allow walkers-pedalers to access Devils Slide recreation area in the near future?

  • Janet Prochazka

    Hi Zoe & Lenny from Janet. I’m so excited about this. Tell us about the celebrations e foot soldiers will be able to attend. Warmest wishes

  • Chris OConnell

    If you want some views, get out of the car!!!


    I am SO excited for the opening. I have followed the progress closely.

    I agree that it fits in beautifully with the environment. As I have traveled to and fro via Devil’s Slide for the past 12 years, I’ve experienced many “near misses” as driver’s travel too fast and pass other cars, park alongside to take photos, etc…it has been very
    nervewracking at times! I thank everyone for their inspiration, hard work and dedication! It will be such a pleasure to be on foot while taking in the gorgeous view SAFELY!!!
    Suzanne – Moss Beach

  • chrisnfolsom

    After recently driving in Europe I could only think how nice it would be to have roads like that in America/California – they are so nice and strait – I am sure some of it was that they were built a few decades after many of ours were, but roads like that through the sierras, grapevine, hwy101, hwy17 and such mixing tunneling, bridges and excavation for strait roads would really be enjoyable and safer.

  • Gail Jean Benjamin

    The success of the tunnel is due to many little efforts as well as the movers and shaker who pushed it along. My husband and I spent numerous Sundays at the Foster CIty Costco with a huge model of the coast with the proposed bypass and the tunnel represented so folks could see the difference. We were in Foster City, because while Coastside residents were well aware of the issues, the folks on the east side of the mountains were not and they were going to vote on Measure T as well.

    • chrisnfolsom

      Thank you for your work on this. Do you know if there are any provisions for maintaining the old road/path when this is a landslide or other errosion that will probable block the path in the future?

  • As I remember it, when I lived in El Granada in the early 70s, there was much opposition to the tunnel as part of generalized anti-growth sentiment, and the perception that better highway access would be a slippery slope (pardon the pun) to the suburbanization of the coastal towns – basically that Montara, Moss Beach, El Granada, and Half Moon Bay would be turned into another Pacifica. I suppose by now the regulatory environment and amount of land now in protected status has rendered such concerns moot.

  • Theresa MacNaughton

    I am a Montara resident. The tunnel opening is exciting! But a touch bittersweet. It’s important that the tunnel will provide much needed safety to a dangerous road and will provide relief from long-term closures. I also have a son who will be driving soon and commutes north for school every morning. Happy he won’t be driving the slide. I drive it 2-4 times a day. And when I take that turn coming out of Pacifica (going south) and see the ocean, my blood pressure drops. It is a therapeutic part of my day. I will definitely being using the new trail, I will miss my daily views!! Thank you to all who have helped make this happen. Wish Mr.Lantos was here to see this.

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