County of Marin - News Releases - Muir Woods Road

For Immediate Release
April 16, 2015

County Closer to Muir Woods Road Rehabilitation

Key route on Mount Tam’s slopes is in need of repairs; grant funding sought

San Rafael, CA – Engineers with the Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) are working with federal agencies to make long-needed improvements to Muir Woods Road near Mount Tamalpais.

An image showing the deterioration of pavement Muir Woods Road near Mount Tamalpais.The County recently was notified by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Central Federal Lands Highway Division that Marin has been short-listed for a $4.4 million grant for the project.

“This is exciting news as improvements to this corridor have been needed for many years,” said County Principal Civil Engineer Ernest Klock. “It is significant because this is the second grant cycle since the inception of the program and we were successful for $18 million in improvements to Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in the first cycle.”

There were 56 applications for Federal Lands Access Program grants, and the Muir Woods Road project was one of 14 selected. If secured, the federal grant would cover about 88.53 percent of the total estimated cost of $5 million and the County would contribute the remainder 11.47 percent, or roughly $600,000. The next step in the coming months is to enter into an agreement with the Federal Highway Administration to make sure the project is buildable as conceptualized.

The proposed rehabilitation project includes a 2.4-mile project area of the road connecting the entrance of Muir Woods National Monument with State Highway 1. The topography and proximity of Redwood Creek has caused undercutting and compromised the road in several locations, some of which require one-way stop control for vehicles to traverse the failed sections. The project would fix several old slide sites adjacent to Redwood Creek plus storm damage to the road from December 2014.

The National Park Service, which oversees the national monument, sent a letter to federal authorities with strong support for the improvements. Muir Woods has approximately 1 million visitors each year and Muir Woods Road also serves as a primary access road to the monument. It’s also a critical public transportation route for the Muir Woods Shuttle.  In addition, the enhancements to this roadway will also improve access to neighboring State Parks lands.

If the project scoping goes well, DPW staff plans to bring a notice of grant award to the Marin County Board of Supervisors this fall.

Learn more about roads under DPW’s jurisdiction on the County website.

Contact:

RJ Suokko
Senior Civil Engineer
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive.
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-4399
Email: RJ Suokko
DPW webpage