County of Marin - News Releases - Panoramic Guardails

For Immediate Release
July 24, 2018

Guardrail Upgrades for Panoramic Highway

Federal funds to be used to make safety improvements to popular mountain road

San Rafael, CA – Panoramic Highway, with breathtaking mountaintop views, is a popular route for residents and visitors alike to access a variety of iconic Marin destinations, such as Stinson Beach and Muir Woods. In an ongoing commitment to improve road safety, the Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) will be replacing 1,150 feet of guardrail, as well as adding an additional 300 feet, along the scenic roadway. The stretch being addressed is between milepost 6.7 and 8.8, near Stinson Beach. The project is anticipated to begin on August 1 and is expected to be finished by mid-August.

County engineers inspecting the guardrails along panoramic highway overlooking stinson beachCounty engineers inspecting the guardrails along Panoramic Highway overlooking Stinson Beach
The newly installed guardrails will bring the section of roadway up to current state safety standards. They are higher off the ground and stronger, allowing them to better accommodate higher center of gravity vehicles, such as SUVs and large pickups. The guardrails also have improved crash attenuation, especially at each end. In addition to the 1,450 feet of guardrail, nine new traffic safety signs will be installed. During construction, there will be intermittent one-lane closures controlled by flaggers.

Federal grant funding through the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) will pay for 88.53 percent of the estimated $203,900 project, which is approximately $180,500. The remaining 11.47 percent will come from the County’s Road and Bridge Rehabilitation Fund.

The federal funding makes it possible to more efficiently address priority safety projects, a process which is based on collision data reports from the California Highway Patrol. In addition to the Panoramic Highway guardrail project, there are three other key projects that will benefit from HSIP funding over the next couple years: Lucas Valley Road’s hairpin turn at milepost 5.08; skid-resistant paving on one mile of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard near White’s Hill; and a comprehensive safety signage assessment across unincorporated Marin. HSIP will cover $2.93 million of the estimated $3.31 million for the three projects, and the difference will be met by the County’s Road and Bridge Rehabilitation Fund. HSIP has also announced about $1.5 million in additional funding for other Marin County guardrail projects that are scheduled to be funded and completed over the next two to three years.


Eric Miller
Principal Civil Engineer
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive.
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6354
Email: Eric Miller
Public Works website