Battery Tunnel Digs In

Thursday, Jul 22, 2010  |  Updated 5:20 PM PDT
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Battery Tunnel Digs In

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The Coast Guard reported that a freighter hit the rocks west of the Golden Gate Bridge on Tuesday evening. (Photo By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Construction is under way on a tunnel that's expected to provide a safer way for Marin County drivers to get into San Francisco from the Golden Gate Bridge.

      The $116 million Battery Tunnel began construction Wednesday along with an elevated 1,340-foot-long viaduct to take drivers into city.
     
One tunnel is slated to open on Labor Day 2011 with five lanes that will handle both northbound and southbound traffic, until a second tunnel is built.
     
The current route between the bridge and downtown San Francisco, Doyle Drive, has been found to be seismically unsafe. The 1.5-mile southern approach to bridge was built in 1936.
     
The state Department of Transportation has since spent $35 million to strengthen Doyle Drive. But bridge officials say it still could be vulnerable in a large earthquake.

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