Ariel view of Devil's Slide tunnel project.
Aerial view of Devil’s Slide tunnel project. Credit: Carwil / Wikimedia Commons

It’s been a long time coming. The first highway tunnels to open in California in nearly fifty years are about ready for motorists.

Two mile-long, state-of-the-art tunnels will offer a new route to what has been a stunning, cliffhanger of a drive along Highway 1 above Northern California’s coast. The passage, between Pacifica and Half Moon Bay, has been the site of so many landslides, prolonged closures and deadly car accidents that it earned the name, “Devil’s Slide.”

Photo: Jenny Oh
Photo: Jenny Oh

The new tunnel consists of two bores each about 4,200 feet long with one lane and wide shoulder. The cutting edge tunnels have been a major engineering project and will feature jet-powered exhaust fans and carbon monoxide sensors. That’s much more high-tech than Cal Trans’ last tunnel, the third bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, which opened in 1964.

Photo: Jenny Oh
Photo: Jenny Oh

After five decades of political and environmental roadblocks, the 439-million dollar federally funded project is finished. Its opening will roll out over two days. Opening ceremonies for the twin tunnels and accompanying bridges is Monday, March 25th. The tunnels will be ready for commuters the following morning. The old Devil’s Slide stretch of California coastline will soon open up to hikers and bike riders.

Historic Devil’s Slide Tunnels Finally About To Open 25 March,2013Andrea Kissack
  • jason west

    it looks to be only one lane. iwould hope that there were at least an emergency lane and full time attendance.

  • Coastside Bill

    It’s one lane with wide shoulder.

  • each lane has it’s own tunnel.


Andrea Kissack

Andrea has nearly three decades of experience working as a reporter, anchor, producer and editor for public radio, large market television news and CBS radio. In her current role as KQED’s Sr. Science Editor, Andrea helps lead a talented team covering science, technology, health and the environment for broadcast and digital platforms. Most recently she helped KQED launch a new, multimedia initiative covering the intersection of technology, health and medical science. She has earned a number of accolades for her work including awards from the Radio and Television News Directors Association, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the Associated Press. Her work can be seen, and heard, on a number of networks, Including NPR, PBS, CBS and the BBC.

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