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San Francisco braces for traffic nightmare near Golden Gate Bridge

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 10 Jul 2015

By Emmett BergSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco residents were bracing for several days of snarled traffic after a key approach to the Golden Gate Bridge was closed on Thursday to allow crews to complete work on a major new access route to the iconic span.The 79-hour closure, which will last through 5 a.m. local time on Monday, was expected to result in delays of up to four hours for vehicles forced to use the only other approach to cross the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco into Marin County, said project spokeswoman Molly Graham said."If you come to the Presidio (neighborhood) by bike or on foot, there'll be lots of activity to see while the crews work, but for vehicles, the traffic will be major,' Graham said."Mostly, we're saying just avoid the corridor."The expected traffic nightmare comes amid a six-year, $1 billion project to replace Doyle Drive, an elevated roadway and viaduct completed in 1936 as one of two thoroughfares leading to San Francisco's famous bridge.Drivers on Monday will be greeted by the new roadway, the Presidio Parkway, which includes a system of tunnels, bridges and viaducts "tucked into the natural contours" of the Golden Gate and its surroundings, according to the project website.The surface of the tunnels, called the Battery Tunnels, will eventually include 10 acres of landscaping by the expected conclusion of the project next year, Graham said.This weekend, crews in earthmoving machines will demolish a temporary roadway and connect newly completed bridge and tunnel segments, Graham said. "There's going to be a lot of digging, a lot of hauling and a lot of rebuilding," she said.Concerns over the structural and seismic safety of Doyle Drive led to the formation of a public-private partnership to design, finance, construct and operate the Presidio Parkway.Bus and ferry services were in place to help people with transportation options over the weekend, Graham said.Delays were expected to last several weeks as motorists became familiar with the new traffic configuration, she said.(Editing by Victoria Cavaliere and Paul Tait)Join the conversation about this story
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