In Celebration of the Completion of the Bridges at Devil's Slide

In Celebration of the Completion of the Bridges at Devil's Slide
by Jackie Speier

In Celebration of the Completion of the Bridges at Devil's Slide



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ms. SPEIER. Madam Speaker, this week marks a milestone in a half century long journey to provide safe and scenic passage along the beautiful San Mateo County coastline and honors the tireless dedication of my predecessor in Congress, Representative Tom Lantos.

On Friday, September 26, 2008, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), along with project contractors, citizens and elected officials, will officially unveil two newly-constructed bridges at Devil's Slide on State Route One.

These bridges are part of a larger project which will connect them to twin four thousand, two hundred foot tunnels. Together, the bridges and tunnels will bypass a historically-dangerous stretch of Route One that over the past twenty-five years has seen three closures and reconstructions due to erosion of the cliff upon which the road sits.

The existing roadway between the cities of Pacifica and Half Moon Bay was first opened in 1935. By 1958, local citizens were clamoring for a safer road, but environmental, financial, geological and land-use issues complicated the process until 1996, when San Mateo County voters passed Measure T by 76 percent, authorizing the bridge and tunnel construction. The project, though, would have been impossible were it not for the passionate work here in the House of Representatives by the late Congressman Lantos, who was present last year as crews broke ground for the tunnels' construction.

In honor of his invaluable efforts, the California State Legislature passed a resolution in July 2008 to name the tunnels the "Tom Lantos Tunnels at Devil's Slide."

Since breaking ground, significant progress has been made on this ambitious and environmentally sensitive project. Along with the completion of the two bridges, crews have excavated a combined two thousand six hundred feet in the northbound and southbound bores of the tunnels. With specialized equipment, leading edge technology and carefully designed and engineered plans, crews work twenty-four hours a day on the tunnels which will eventually connect with the newly- constructed bridges. The resulting road of just over a mile will realign Route One into a safer, more reliable passage around Devil's Slide.

Madam Speaker, Tom Lantos' legacy in this chamber is well-known. With the opening of this important north-south roadway along one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in this or any country, his work will be memorialized for residents of our district and passing motorists for generations to come.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).