I recently dropped by the Caltrans trailer park in Linda Mar and chatted with the man in charge of the San Pedro Creek Bridge project. His crew now has completed prep work for the Highway 1 detour via the Pedro Point frontage road, and actual traffic diversion began June 20. Expect gnarly traffic at reroute chokepoints.
The project is to raise the height of the old Highway 1 bridge over the creek to that of the newer frontage road bridge. The new Highway 1 bridge is supposed to be seismically safer and stronger than the 60-year-old span it replaces.
While I had Caltrans' ear, I suggested posting "WRONG WAY, DO NOT ENTER" signs at the Devil's Slide Tunnels north portal, where the roadway splits on a banked curve entering the Shamrock Ranch bridge to the tunnels.
Warning signs could prevent a southbound driver (especially a drunk or disoriented one on a foggy night) from accidentally entering the northbound lane and causing a horrendous crash with oncoming traffic.
If you drive south toward the tunnel entrance, you will see the split I am talking about right before you get onto the bridge. With all the crazy lane and line markings at that banked curve, you can see the visual confusion and potential for a deadly head-on collision with a wrong-way driver.
And don't get me started on the ridiculously narrow bike lanes alongside Highway 1 leading up the hill to the tunnels, which together with blind curves and excessive motorist speed can only mean that a really bad accident is just waiting to happen.
As you know if you regularly read this blog and my Wandering & Wondering column in the Pacifica Tribune, I am a huge fan of the tunnels. Always have been. But as we learn to drive the new Highway 1 configuration, we are discovering safety issues that could use a tweak or two to make Devil's Slide a safer place to drive and bike. Let's hope Caltrans and the City of Pacifica are listening before it's too late.
John Maybury, Editor & Publisher