SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Motorists should expect no major traffic problems when the next phase of the Doyle Drive replacement project gets started later this year, Caltrans officials said.

Project managers unveiled construction plans Friday that call for a new bridge, tunnels and an interchange that can be built while cars travel on the temporary viaduct completed last April.

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“As far as traffic impact, the good thing about this construction is that all of it is going to happen off-line, basically,” said Caltrans District Director Bijan Sartipi.

KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:

Demolition of the original viaduct built in 1936 required traffic on that approach to the Golden Gate Bridge to be shut down for 57 hours.

This time the project’s biggest impact will be on the economy, said federal officials who touted the hundreds of jobs the $1.4 billion project is expected to create.

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“Most importantly right now, this project is going to create thousands of jobs and it will help to really move our economy forward,” said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez.

The debate over how to replace the aging structure with something safer, and prettier, stretched over decades, said Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

“We’ve been trying forever, longer than the Presidio, to do something about Doyle Drive. It was not a safe place.”

Safety improvements on the new permanent roadway that will eventually carry motorists from the Marina District onto the bridge include wider lanes for cars and a shoulder on either side for disabled cars to pull out of traffic, Caltrans officials said.

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