Construction on the Presidio Tunnel Tops project in San Francisco recently broke ground. The development represents fourteen acres of new national parkland that will be created atop highway tunnels, with dramatic views of Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay, the Presidio, and the San Francisco skyline.
The $118-million project is being led by the Presidio Trust, in collaboration with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Swinerton Builders is leading construction.
Other members of the project team include James Corner Field Operations (landscape architect); EHDD (architect); Miller Pacific (geotechnical engineer);WOOD (environmental engineer); Stok (sustainability); MKA (civil and site structural engineer); Holmes (building structural engineer); PAE (MEP engineer); HLB (lighting designer); DD Pagano (irrigation designer); Fluidity (water feature designer); and KKA (signage designer).
The project is an example of a growing trend to turn derelict highways and rail lines into public green spaces and parkland. When complete in fall 2021, the new Presidio destination will include gardens with native vegetation, connective pathways, scenic overlooks, a campfire circle, picnic areas, and a Youth Campus with a three-acre interactive play area designed to connect urban kids with nature.
The project consists of 6,528 sq-ft of new construction and 13,055 sq-ft of remolded or rehabilitated work. It will also use approximately 96,000 cu-yds of soil about roughly 200,000 plants.
Liz Messana, Swinerton senior project manager, says that during peak construction, there will be about 50 to 70 workers on site daily.
Space for the Presidio Tunnel Tops project came from the transformation of the former Doyle Drive highway into the Presidio Parkway. The design was shaped by input from over 10,000 community members. While the old highway once cut off the northern waterfront from the rest of the Presidio, the new parkway places key sections in “cut and cover” tunnels, allowing for new parkland above.
When complete, visitors will be able to walk from Crissy Field to the Presidio’s Main Post for the first time in 80 years, enjoying dramatic views along the way.