news Cal Park Hill Tunnel
Cal Park Hill Tunnel finally became a reality on December 10th, 2010 after 12 years of extensive work to create designs and a new vision for use. From the first moments as an active organization, MCBC worked to open the tunnel by collaborating with public agencies. Other local citizens, such as Jean Starkweather, had been laying the groundwork for an eventual re-opening of the tunnel for some 20 years prior.
The Cal Park Tunnel was originally constructed in 1884 with significant renovations taking place in the mid-portion of last century. Originally designed to haul lumber and freight, the initial Cal Park Tunnel was constructed in 1884. After a series of fires and structural collapses, it was sealed shut in 1978.
Today it provides a “climb-free” experience for bicyclists and pedestrians between Larkspur and San Rafael. It is a key component in the North-South Greenway and connects directly with the Central Marin Ferry Connection Project at Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. A huge crowd showed up for the ceremonial ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration. After the opening ceremony, which included speeches from elected officials, Executive Director Deb Hubsmith, the Marin County Department of Public Works, and Caltrans, hundreds of walkers, and cyclists entered the tunnel – last used by freight trains in the 1970’s.
The 1,100 tunnel is now open seven days a week from 5am until midnight. Bicyclists and pedestrians are completely separated from the future train, and the tunnel includes cell phone access, security cameras, and emergency access points.
MCBC thanks the following agencies for their work to help make this historic and keystone project possible: the County of Marin, SMART, the Transportation Authority of Marin, Caltrans, the City of San Rafael, the City of Larkspur, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, MTC and the untold thousands of supporters of MCBC over the years who supported this vision.
Video from the Cal Park Tunnel Opening Ceremony and Celebration