PACIFICA (KCBS) – The Devil’s Slide tunnel is set to open to traffic later this year and will mark a milestone on Thursday with paving of the project expected to be completed.

The tunnel will carry traffic between Pacifica and Montara instead of the coastal stretch of Highway 1, which has been prone to rock and mudslides for decades.

Devil’s Slide tunnel project safety manager Jeff Kraus said crews have been working for a week and a half with three cement mixers lined up to get the roadway paved.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“The actual construction portion of the tunnel is pretty much done,” said Kraus.

Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus said the tunnel will be safer and better economically, since lengthy closures of Highway 1 impacted local businesses.

“Once this tunnel is open, they’ll no longer have to worry about every time winter comes and there’s a heavy rain, is Highway 1 going to be closed again?” Haus said.

Caltrans crews are putting other finishing touches in the tunnel including installing lights, cameras, water systems, fans for ventilation and insulating and lining the walls of the tunnel.

The project is scheduled to open in December with a final price tag of $439 million.

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