Thursday Night's Doyle Drive Closure to Last Until 5 a.m. Monday

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This photograph of the Presidio Parkway Project shows the Battery and Main Post tunnels. (Courtesy of Presidio Parkway Project)

Doyle Drive, San Francisco's historic access road to the Golden Gate Bridge, will be closed to traffic from Thursday until next Monday as crews work on the new Presidio Parkway, according to the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District.

The road will be closed in both directions starting at 10 p.m. Thursday and is scheduled to open to the public at 5 a.m. Monday.

During the closure, crews will finalize roadway connections and transfer traffic to the permanent new Presidio Parkway.

The California Highway Patrol anticipates delays of up to four hours during peak commute periods and is urging drivers to build in extra time or use alternate routes.

The parkway features the Main Post and Battery tunnels, which are covered with landscaping to preserve the natural beauty of the Presidio.

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The parkway also has new bridges and new ramps that enable easier access to the Presidio and the Marina District, as well as between state Highway 1 and U.S. Highway 101.

While the Golden Gate Bridge will remain open throughout the extended closure, motorists will not be able to access the bridge from Highway 101 in San Francisco.

Motorists are urged to take the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to avoid the Golden Gate Bridge.

The southeast parking lot at the bridge visitors plaza will also be closed between Thursday and Monday, and tour buses will not be allowed to pick up or drop off passengers in that lot.

Traffic will still be able to travel on Highway 1 onto 19th Avenue and from Merchant Road to Lincoln Boulevard, but motorists should expect major delays, with the Friday commute hours expected to be particularly backed up.

This map shows the scope of the Doyle Drive closure.
This map shows the scope of the Doyle Drive closure. (Courtesy of Presidio Parkway Project)

The public is urged to take public transportation instead of driving personal vehicles across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Transit bus and Golden Gate Ferry service will be running, but there will be no San Francisco MUNI service at the Golden Gate Bridge during the closure.

Golden Gate Transit will run modified weekday service on Friday and will not operate Routes 92 and 93. Some stops will not be served during the closure over the weekend.

Golden Gate Ferry will add service throughout the weekend on the Larkspur and Sausalito routes.

Additional late-night trips will run on Friday from Larkspur. Additional early-morning and late-night trips from Larkspur will also run on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday and Sunday, late-night trips will also run from Sausalito. The Giants Ferry will also operate between Larkspur and AT&T Park.

Michael Cabanatuan's story in the San Francisco Chronicle today describes what driving on the new Doyle Drive will be like:

It won’t be much like the drive on the old Doyle Drive — and only a little like the temporary roadway in use the past three years — and there’s a whole weekend to get through without no roadway at all.

Facing the biggest changes: motorists heading toward the bridge from San Francisco. The beginning of the trip will seem the same, as they’ll get onto Presidio Parkway as they do now, but then almost immediately they will cross a small bridge over what will become an extension of the Crissy Field Marsh — it will feel a bit like a bump.

Almost immediately, drivers will speed into the first of two new tunnels, emerge where the temporary bypass once was and make a straight shot uphill, to the second tunnel. Nothing like twisting through the narrow lanes of the old road that often felt dangerously like bumper cars.

Originally constructed in 1936, Doyle Drive was deemed structurally and seismically unsafe, prompting construction of the Presidio Parkway that began in 2009.

In 2012, traffic was shifted onto a seismically safe temporary bypass, but after this weekend's closure, the temporary bypass will no longer be used and will soon be deconstructed.

The Presidio Parkway project is expected to be fully completed in 2016.

Here's an overview of the project:

This post contains reporting from Bay City News.