Devil's Slide Twin Tunnel Announces Grand Opening

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It appears that later this month the "coast is clear" for those hoping to travel through the Devil's Slide twin tunnels, as a grand opening date for the $440 million, eight-year project has been slated for March 25.

The invitation-only grand opening will bring people who worked hard to push the tunnel project through, according to Charise McHugh, CEO of the Half Moon Bay Chamber of Commerce and chair of the grand opening ceremonies for the tunnels project.

"The event will bring together more than 400 attendees, a lot of speakers, the Half Moon Bay High School Band and the Terra Nova High School Band in Pacifica."

Billed as a "win-win" for all, the grand opening of this huge Caltrans project, named the Tom Lantos Tunnels after the late Congressman who lobbied for the project, is a welcomed event for business owners, coastal residents and tourists alike.

Rick Ellis, who has run The Old Thyme Inn on Half Moon Bay's Main Street for 15 years, said that although it will remain to be seen if the tunnels' opening increases business, "it will certainly remove the fear of that access to this portion of the coast side being closed as a result of storm damage, which has happened a great deal in the past."

He added, "I think it will be fun and an interesting thing to drive through the tunnels there, and it's certainly going to allow people to come down and maybe take advantage of the many things to do here," Ellis said.

According to San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley, who prior to being elected District 3 supervisor served as the county sheriff for 14 years, the opening of the tunnels is a very welcomed safety addition to the coast side.

"The tunnel is safer and a more direct route, which will make for a much less heart palpitating drive," he said. "It's a beautiful, scenic drive, but you don't dare look over the side."

Horsley said during his time as sheriff, he witnessed many horrific and deadly accidents, leading people to refer to this stretch of roadway as the Devil's Slide.


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