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Contact: Doug Hecox, (202) 366-0660
Road Improvements to begin this month in the Marin Headlands
Road closures and delays in the Marin Headlands required for Project Headlands
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Calif. (February 23, 2010)—Significant improvements in the accessibility and safety of several popular Marin Headlands roads start this month. Those changes require major construction, road closures and delays as part of the first phase of the multi-year Project Headlands. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Park Service (NPS), and Ghilotti Brothers, Incorporated (GBI) held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss upcoming road construction activities park users can expect in 2010.
The first road closure will be of East Road, near Fort Baker, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. from February through May. During the road closure access to Fort Baker will be via Bunker Road. After April vehicles traveling on East Road will experience 15-minute delays Monday through Friday.
Conzelman Road between McCullough and Field Roads will close to all traffic—including bicycles and pedestrians—starting April 1st. This closure will be in effect for six months. There will be one-way traffic with delays on McCullough Road beginning in April.
Due to the safety issues related to a gravel surface, McCullough Road and East Road will be closed to bicycles during construction. Pedestrian access will also be limited.
Project Headlands is needed to improve access and safety for motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and transit on 11 miles of historic roads and trails with new, sustainable features. These extensive road closures and delays will shorten the construction period, increase safety, and minimize potential impacts to the natural and historic features of the project area. The project is especially challenging due to the importance of habitat rehabilitation and preservation of the iconic landscape. The project will also maintain the historic significance of the former military roads.
The project also includes close environmental monitoring, re-vegetation efforts in coordination with the Marin Headlands Native Plant Nursery, and Mission blue butterfly habitat restoration.
"The beginning of construction is a major milestone and is the result of years of efforts by dedicated staff from the National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration, in conjunction with significant input by the public,” said Frank Dean, acting general superintendent, Golden Gate National Recreation Area. “Although there will be short-term inconveniences to park visitors, upon completion of this project, the Marin Headlands will be safer and more accessible to park visitors while retaining its historic character.”
Ricardo Suarez, the Division Engineer for the Federal Highway Administration said “With the start of construction this historic project will officially start impacting the visitors to the Headlands. The construction is phased so that there will always be areas of the Headlands that can be accessed, however we ask for your patience while the other areas are closed or while you experience delays. The project team’s goal is to complete construction as fast as possible so that visitors can start enjoying the improvements the project will provide.”
“As you know, visitors to this area of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area access the parklands via bicycles, on foot, and via transit, in addition to vehicles. Not only will this project improve access for all of these modes of travel, but it is estimated to create more than 200 jobs,” said Michael Ghilotti, President for Ghilotti Brothers, Inc. “We look forward to working with the Federal Highway Administration and the National Park Service in this historic and beautiful location of the Bay Area.”
Construction began in February, starting with the closure of East Road, and will continue through the summer with reconstruction of McCullough and Conzelman roads. Project Headlands involves temporary road closures and delays over an anticipated four-year period. Most of the work scheduled for 2010 will occur during the months of February through September. All efforts will be made to minimize disruption to the public; however, traffic detours and delays should be expected during certain phases of the project. Notifications and detour signage will be provided in advance of activities.