Return to Case Digest Archives
skip general nav links ACHP home About ACHP


National Historic

Working with
Section 106

Federal, State, & Tribal Programs

Training & Education


 skip specific nav links
Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow Section 106 in Action arrow Archive of Prominent Section 106 Cases arrow California: Doyle Drive Replacement at Golden Gate Bridge
California: Replacement of Doyle Drive at
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Agency: Federal Highway Administration

Criterion for ACHP Involvement:

  • The proposed replacement of the southern approach to the Golden Gate Bridge will affect archeological sites, a National Cemetery, and historic buildings of the Presidio of San Francisco National Historic Landmark District (Criterion 1).

Recent Developments

ACHP staff recently attended a meeting regarding the proposed replacement of Doyle Drive, the southern approach to the Golden Gate Bridge. Attendees included the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), California State Historic Preservation Office, California Department of Transportation, San Francisco County Transit Authority, Presidio Trust, and National Park Service (NPS).

Doyle Drive, California


Section of Doyle Drive,
Presidio of San Francisco National Historic Landmark District, CA



The discussions covered a wide range of Section 106 review issues, including the identification of additional consulting parties; refinement of the Area of Potential Effect (APE) for the undertaking; the relationship of the proposed project to existing management plans for the Presidio of San Francisco; and the proposed methodology for identifying historic properties in the APE. Debate is ongoing over the appropriate amount of archeological data recovery that should be undertaken prior to the commencement of construction activities.

Attention also was given to the challenge of avoiding physical impacts on the San Francisco National Cemetery, which is located within the Presidio immediately adjacent to Doyle Drive and administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The steep terrain of the existing alignment near the cemetery limits options. The lack of space likewise may pose a dilemma between destroying a portion of recreated wetlands directly north of the alignment or demolishing some World War I-era warehouses directly to the south.


Doyle Drive, the southern approach of U.S. 101 to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, is a one-and-a-half-mile, elevated, concrete and steel viaduct built in 1933. It passes through the Presidio of San Francisco National Historic Landmark (NHL) District, which was, before its transfer to NPS in 1994, the oldest American military post in continuous operation. In addition to its important historic properties, the Presidio also contains unique ecological systems, inviting park lands, and spectacular vistas.

Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Presidio is now administered by NPS and the Presidio Trust. In addition to being a contributing element to the Presidio NHL district, Doyle Drive is considered individually eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places because of its engineering significance. (For more information on the Presidio, visit and

Currently, Doyle Drive does not meet modern safety standards due to its lack of a fixed median barrier, shoulders, and adequate lane widths, and the structure is deteriorating from heavy traffic, exposure to salt air, and age. Although a partial seismic retrofit recently was completed, serious concerns remain regarding the potential failure of the structure during an earthquake. Eight alternatives to address these problems are under consideration, and, although a preferred alternative has not yet been chosen, the majority call for replacement of the existing structure.

The replacement alternatives would either: 1) replace Doyle Drive just south of the existing alignment, with traffic maintained on the existing facility throughout construction (Parallel Construction); or 2) replace Doyle Drive on its current alignment, with a temporary detour constructed to the north to maintain traffic throughout construction (Detour Construction). (Further information on the project and these alternatives can be found at

FHWA began preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) early in 2000, and has engaged in public scoping to develop and screen possible alternatives. The draft EIS is scheduled for release in September 2001. Meanwhile, consultation under Section 106 has resulted in several interagency meetings regarding the establishment of an APE for the project and an approach for any additional efforts needed to identify historic properties in this area.

Policy Highlights

The proposed replacement of Doyle Drive illustrates the challenge posed by upgrading historic roadways in order to meet modern safety standards and capacity needs. This is particularly difficult when the road itself contributes to a surrounding NHL District. Furthermore, this project may also serve to highlight the often competing interests of protecting and preserving significant natural and cultural resources.

Staff contact: Jane Crisler

Updated June 6, 2002

Return to Top