Huge traffic jams expected at Golden Gate Bridge

With Doyle Drive closed until Monday, CHP is warning that getting into San Francisco could take up to four hours during peak traffic times. Find out how to avoid the mess.|

Motorists are being advised to avoid the Golden Gate Bridge this weekend due to the closure of the span’s southern access road for construction work.

Transportation officials warn the closure of Doyle Drive in order to further work on the new Presidio Parkway could result in major traffic jams this weekend near the bridge. The roadway will be closed for 79 hours from 10 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Monday.

The Golden Gate will remain open via Highway 1. But heavy traffic congestion is anticipated, especially during Friday’s commute. Motorists are being advised to avoid the area altogether and to use the Bay Bridge for access to and from the city.

CHP officials Wednesday said the closure could result in delays of up to four hours during peak traffic times.

Doyle Drive, which is part of Highway 101, is being shut down to complete the transfer to the new Presidio Parkway, which includes four tunnels and restored connections to Highway 1 and Park Presidio Boulevard.

The $1.1 billion parkway, which has been 15 years in the planning, promises to improve traffic flow to and from the bridge. Officials say motorists also will have easier access to popular San Francisco destinations, including the Presidio and Marina District.

“It’s a big milestone for drivers,” project spokeswoman Molly Graham said Wednesday.

Originally built in 1936, Doyle Drive was deemed structurally and seismically deficient by the start of construction on the new parkway in 2009. In April 2012, traffic was shifted onto a temporary bypass while work continued.

Graham said this weekend’s work includes grading, pouring concrete and connecting bridges over Crissy Field Marsh.

Once the parkway debuts, motorists leaving the city will do so via two tunnels that emerge onto a high viaduct above the Presidio, offering sweeping panoramic views. Then it’s on to the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza.

The northbound Highway 1 to southbound 101 ramp is scheduled to reopen after the weekend. Both have been closed since 2010, Graham said.

Southbound motorists will pass through two tunnels after leaving the toll plaza.

From there, they can choose to stay on the main road to Richardson Avenue - which feeds into Lombard Avenue - or access the Presidio or Marina using a new exit ramp on the right side of the road.

For a video overview of the project, visit

You can reach Staff Writer Derek Moore at 521-5336 or On Twitter @deadlinederek.

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