A piece of coastside history is finally close to completion.
Caltrans spokesperson Bob Haus says the Devil's Slide Tunnel, which has been under construction for a few years now, is finally near completion, and should be ready for drivers by this December.
"We're saying December-ish - sometime in December," Haus told Patch Friday morning.
Patch drove by the tunnel recently and snapped this photo of the near-finished tunnel.
Haus said the final touches to the project, being worked on between now and December, are to sync up the tunnel with the nearby Operations and Maintenance Center (OMC).
"Right now, we're finishing up installing the tunnel's traffic operations systems between the tunnel and the OMC," he explained.
Haus said they are also working hard to make sure the OMC remains "hidden."
"The OMC was designed to be hard to see, to blend into surrounding countryside," he said, describing how the center has a solid grass roof.
Haus said Caltrans is also working with local partners these days to plan a big grand opening celebration for December.
"We're working with local partners on planning the details. We're looking at possibly having a parade of vintage cars and other types of vehicles," he described, among other events.
Haus said there is also still time for locals to turn in applications to be one of the first few cars to get to drive through the historic tunnel once it's finished.
Applications can be downloaded here.
One bonus, Haus revealed, is that applying to be one of the first to drive through the tunnel will no longer cost you - Caltrans has decided to waive the fee for the distinguished honor.
Don't wait too long, though, he said - organizers will most likely cap the honor at around 30 cars before opening the tunnel up to the public.
For more information on the opening ceremonies as they come available, and to download an application to be one of the first to drive through the new tunnel, click here.
To apply, you must submit a photo of the car you plan to drive, and photocopies of your driver's license, vehicle registration and insurance information, along with the application. They must be sent through the mail.
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