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CA's first new tunnel in 50 years opens on PCH

Published On: Mar 25 2013 10:09:56 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 25 2013 05:23:13 PM CDT

PACIFICA, Calif. -

The first tunnels built in California in more than 50 years are set to open.

State transportation officials will snip the ceremonial ribbons on the so-called Devil's Slide tunnels south of San Francisco at 11 a.m. Monday. However, the tunnels won't be open to public traffic until later Monday or earlier Tuesday.

The $439 million project has been decades in the making.

The pair of single-lane tubes will divert a treacherous 1.2-mile stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway that constantly erodes and frequently collapses about 15 miles south of San Francisco.

The tunnels are equipped with massive exhaust fans, carbon monoxide sensors and a pair of 1,000-foot bridges. Ten fireproof shelters are staggered between the double bores, and remote cameras dangle from the ceiling, monitored constantly by a staff of 15.