Great Highway Reroute Coasts Through Planning But Lacks Funding

The roadway by the San Francisco Zoo will eventually be closed to vehicular traffic in favor of an extended coastal trail.

Two lanes of the Great Highway will be removed in response to erosion. (Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner)

Plans to reroute the Great Highway received a key permit from the Planning Commission on Thursday but lacks funding.

Ocean Beach has long struggled with erosion but in 2010, chunks of its southern parking lot broke off, spurring plans to protect the infrastructure. To avoid the same happening to cars coasting down the Great Highway, two southbound lanes between Sloat and Skyline boulevards by the San Francisco Zoo will be removed. 

One of the two northbound lanes in the same section, totaling .6 miles, will be converted into a southbound lane. The existing bike lanes, adjacent parking lots, and access will be preserved while more signs will be added. 

Planning commissioners on Thursday unanimously approved a Coastal Zone Permit, which the project needed to proceed. The rerouting is one phase of the Western Shoreline Area Plan that will eventually eliminate a roadway between Sloat and Skyline boulevards. Instead, a multi-use pathway that extends the coastal trail to Fort Funston and Lake Merced will replace car traffic. 

When asked about the timeline, a Public Works representative said they are still seeking funding, which first came from emergency federal funds. Construction was estimated to cost $2.6 million in 2016 and was anticipated to occur between April and September 2019.

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