Inter-Departmental Correspondence

Department of Public Works



June 9, 2011


June 21, 2011







Honorable Board of Supervisors


James C. Porter, Director of Public Works


California State Coastal Conservancy Grant Application for the Devils Slide Coastal Trail Project



Adopt a Resolution authorizing the Director of Public Works, or his designee to:



Apply for and accept a California State Coastal Conservancy grant for the Devils Slide Coastal Trail Project in the amount of $500,000; and



Execute any other documents associated with acceptance of the grant funding from the California State Coastal Conservancy in the amount of $500,000.



Highway 1 hugs the coastline for much of the distance between Pacifica and Montara. In one section, the road crosses the aptly named Devils Slide region, a steep, unstable geological formation. This section of road has a long history of closure due to rockslides and land slippage. One of the longest road closures, lasting 158 days, occurred in 1995 and cost almost $3 million to repair.


Following many years of public input and careful evaluation of alternatives, Devils Slide will be bypassed by the Devils Slide Tunnels Project, currently under construction by the California Department of Transportation. The $342 million project calls for the construction of two 30-foot wide and 4,200-foot long tunnels beneath San Pedro Mountain. At the northern end, two 1,000-foot bridges will span the valley at Shamrock Ranch. At the southern end, a realignment of Highway 1 will provide safe transition into and out of the tunnels. All together, this project will provide a safe, dependable highway segment between Pacifica and Montara.


Preparation and implementation of actions contained in the Devil’s Slide Tunnels Project plan are required as a condition of state and local agency permitting for the tunnel project, and are consistent with the California Coastal Commission’s “Public Access Action Plan,” adopted by the Coastal Commission in June 1999.


The bypassed section of Highway 1 and 70 acres of State right-of-way will be available for public access and recreational use following the planned tunnel opening in early 2013. The bypassed section of Highway 1 will be converted into a section of the California Coastal Trail and will be called the Devils Slide Coastal Trail (Trail). The Trail is identified in the California State Coastal Conservancy’s “Completing the California Coastal Trail Report.” Planned trailhead facilities, parking areas and a recreational trail from the south tunnel portal area to the Green Valley area are described in the “Devils Slide Final Public Access Implementation Plan.”


Since 1999 the Devil’s Slide Working Group (group), consisting of numerous local, state, and federal agencies, has held discussions about options for parking areas and trail connections in the northern and southern ends of Devils Slide once the tunnels are open and Highway 1 is converted into the Trail. County Parks, Public Works, and the Sherriff’s Office have been active participants of the group.


The Department of Public Works (Department) will use the California State Coastal Conservancy (Conservancy) grant funds to accomplish a Trail Access Improvement Project (TAIP) that will provide visitor services in the parking areas at the north and south ends of the Trail. These visitor services will include a two stall unisex ADA-accessible vault toilet, park information kiosks, park rules and regulatory signs, animal-proof trash and recycling receptacles, and drinking fountains. In addition, plans, permits and specifications will be prepared for the new Green Valley Trail, a connector trail between an existing trail in McNee Ranch State Park and Gray Whale Cove, which is located to the south of the new tunnels.


On July 21, 2011, the California State Coastal Conservancy will review, and is expected to award, a grant agreement to the County of San Mateo for the TAIP. Pursuant to conditions of the award, the Department will provide the Conservancy with a final work plan; budget; contractors list; and access management, operation and signing plans for the project. To the extent appropriate, the Department will ensure that the final designs of the project are consistent with the Conservancy’s standards; all applicable federal and state regulations; and guidelines for persons with disabilities. The Department will obtain all necessary permits, approvals, and all other funds necessary to complete construction and operation of the trail and access support facilities. Over the next 18 to 24 months, the trail plans and permits and parking area improvements will be completed to coincide with the opening of the Trail.


County Counsel has reviewed and approved the Resolution as to form.


Approval of this Resolution contributes to the Shared Vision 2025 outcome of an Environmentally Conscious Community as execution of the Grant Agreement furthers the number and quality of natural experiences and recreational opportunities for County Park visitors. Each visitor gains a greater appreciation of the natural environment and the need for its preservation.



The acceptance of the Grant has no fiscal impact.