Concerned that the Devil's Slide tunnel study is dragging on too long, the Pacifica City Council voted 4-0 Monday night to urge that the study be completed before the November general election when the tunnel initiative may be voted on.
The council approved sending a letter to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, state Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration urging them to move forward on the study. It is supposed to determine whether a tunnel is feasible in terms of cost, funding and time to construct compared with the already-approved and partially funded 4.5-mile inland Martini Creek Bypass.
"It took five months to fix the road (when Highway 1 closed last year). Six months to do the study ought to be enough," noted Mitch Reid of Pacifica's Tunnel Alternative for Highway 1, which asked that the matter be put on the Pacifica council's agenda.
PTA-1 also asked the council endorse the tunnel initiative currently being circulated. It would amend the county's Local Coastal Progam making a tunnel the preferred method of repair to Highway 1. The council stopped short of that, however, opting instead to simply endorse the idea that the public should have the opportunity to vote on the tunnel as long as the study is available before the election.
The tunnel study is supposed to take six months to complete once it is begun, according to an estimate by CalTrans. The study has not yet begun, however, because a firm has not been chosen to do it. That was held up while the county, CalTrans and the Federal Highway Administration decided on exactly what will be studied and who should sit on the three-member panel that chooses the consultant.