Presidio Parkway

  • San Francisco’s primary approach to the Golden Gate Bridge handling 100,000 vehicles a day.
  • 1.6-mile-long, six-lane expressway includes 1,800ft of twin-bore cut-and-cover tunnels and 1,800ft of elevated viaducts.
  • Geotechnically complex site, within a seismically active region.
  • Careful construction planning minimised interference with daily commute traffic.


Presidio Parkway, formerly known as the Doyle Drive Replacement Project, replaced San Francisco’s primary access to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Handling 100,000 vehicles per day, the existing roadway was nearly 75 years old, deteriorating, and not up to current seismic standards. Changes in city traffic flow patterns over the decades had made the existing roadway inefficient at matching traffic loads to and from connecting city streets.

Located within the Presidio of San Francisco (a National Park and a National Historic Landmark District), the project faced several significant challenges: the project team had to remove and replace the existing facility, maintain commuter traffic during construction, preserve the natural beauty of a national park and provide extensive public outreach and inter-agency coordination for a large group of stakeholders. Construction began in August 2009.

"It is no easy task to replace a critical section of highway that runs 1.5 miles along the northwest corner of San Francisco, travels through a busy national park, dodges historic resources, snakes along a veterans' cemetary and then connects with the iconic Golden Gate Bridge."

- Duanne Gilmore, Arup Senior Project Engineer for the Presidio Parkway team

The new project replaced the existing construction with a modern, more aesthetically pleasing roadway. Extensive landscaping and 1,800ft of cut-and-cover tunnels blend the roadway into its surroundings and restore pedestrian continuity across the area. A viaduct over an excavated area accommodates long-range plans for wetland restoration. Modern interchanges improve traffic flow while calming traffic at the interface between freeway and streets.

Arup led a joint venture with PB Americas, Inc to provide engineering services as part of an integrated team with the California Department of Transportation. Arup contributed roadway design, drainage design, utility design, structural design (bridges and cut-and-cover tunnels), tunnel systems design, environmental compliance and mitigation, extensive landscaping, site investigations and geotechnical engineering. Arup also provided transaction advice services on the project.

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Design Yearbook 2011 cover
  • Aerial image of Doyle Drive in San Francisco, CA. Credit Arup.Open gallery

    The Presidio Parkway serves as the primary access to the Golden Gate Bridge.

  • Aerial view of Presidio Parkway. Credit Ethan Rohloff Photography.Open gallery

    Impact on the Presidio of San Francisco National Park and the Presidio of San Francisco National Historic Landmark District has been greatly reduced.