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Cal Park Tunnel

The Cal Park Tunnel is open!

Cal Park Tunnel opening, December 10, 2010

Cal Park TunnelOn Wednesday, September 24 the County of Marin held its official ground breaking ceremony, which marked the beginning of construction for the Cal Park Tunnel. Click here to see photos and read the story from that event.

Click here to see photos from a tour of the construction site, organized by Dan Dawson, Principal Transportation Planner for Marin County.

Click here to see photos of a ceremony on June 22nd, 2009 that celebrated the opening of both portals of the tunnel. Construction will continue through the end of 2009, but there is now a light at the end of the tunnel!

As of the winter of 2009, construction crews continue to build the tunnel which will link San Rafael and Larkspur. The tunnel is being constructed to accommodate SMART passenger trains, bicyclists and pedestrians, with a solid barrier separating the two uses. Click here to view a County of Marin fact sheet about the Cal Park Tunnel, drafted in February 2009.

Inside the TunnelThe vision for creating this important link has been alive for more than 30 years, but the process did not move forward until the Marin County Bicycle Coalition made the Cal Park Tunnel its top infrastructure priority, back in 1998. Today, more than $25 million in funding has been secured for this project which will rehabilitate the Cal Park Railroad Tunnel and create a mile-long Class 1 bike/ped pathway on the east side of the tunnel and SMART tracks on the west side. The project has a planned completion/opening date for the Fall/Winter of 2009/2010. MCBC worked extensively and for more than 10 years to bring attention to the need for this central traffic-free transportation corridor, and has worked doggedly with the County of Marin and SMART to secure the funding for construction, and assist with the tunnel’s design issues.

A key component of the North-South Greenway, the Cal Park Tunnel will provide a safe and flat route to get people out of their cars, making it faster to bike between San Rafael and Larkspur Landing than to drive. The Cal Park Tunnel represents a vision of the future, where people will be able to get around on foot, bikes, and by public transit, leaving the automobile at home. This project creates the opportunity to do something healthy for our community, the planet, and ourselves.

Cal Park Tunnel - ClosedWhen completed, the 12-foot-wide, two-way, paved asphalt path will have emergency call boxes/blue light stations, closed-circuit television cameras, tunnel ventilation, a new pedestrian/cyclist overpass bridge in San Rafael where Anderson Drive crosses underneath Highway 101, and tunnel and pathway lighting with emergency call boxes. It is anticipated that the new route will make it faster to bike from downtown San Rafael to the Larkspur Ferry Terminal than to drive, cutting the bicycling time from about 20 minutes to only five.

When the tunnel opens, it will be available for use from 5 AM until 11 PM each day. After it is open for 6 months, the county will review this policy. The Marin County Bicycle Coalition has always pushed for 24 hour access.