Governor says MacArthur Maze connector
will open in less than 10 days
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
By Jeff Shuttleworth
May 3, 2007
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced yesterday that the damaged
connector from Interstate Highway 80 to Interstate Highway 880
in the MacArthur Maze in Emeryville will be fully open to traffic
within 7 to 10 days.
Speaking at a news conference in Sacramento, Schwarzenegger said
engineers have determined that the lower deck that bore the brunt
of the collapse can be repaired and does not have to be scrapped
In an effort to further speed repairs, the governor issued a
directive to the California Department of Transportation to use
According to a press release issued by his office, Schwarzenegger
told reporters, "Progress on repairing the collapsed freeway
connectors is moving at lightning speed. By creating immediate
action and cutting the red tape, traffic will flow sooner, so
we can move goods and people and protect California's economic
Schwarzenegger said, "I thank all of the state agencies
and local partners for their quick response and I also appreciate
the patience of Bay Area motorists during the repairs."
The explosion early
Sunday morning collapsed a section of Interstate Highway 580
near Oakland onto a lower deck, which was the Highway 80 to Highway
880 connector ramp below, causing the worst Bay Area transportation
disaster since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
If all goes according to plan, the two-lane Highway 880 connector
ramp will only have been closed for 15 days or less since following
the fiery tanker-truck crash.
Caltrans and its contractors have been working under an emergency
declaration issued by the governor to restore the structure after
Similar to the Interstate Highway 10 work following the 1994
earthquake in Northridge, Caltrans said it will use an informal
bid process to obtain a contractor to replace the Highway 580
span lost in the fire. Schwarzenegger has also directed Caltrans
to use an incentive-based contract so the work can be done as
quickly as possible.
In addition, Caltrans will notify all potential bidders that
small businesses must be considered in their work. The contract
is likely to be awarded by May 9.
The governor also announced that the state was told late Tuesday
by the Federal Highway Administration that the repair work to
get the ramps open to traffic has been qualified for federal emergency
Caltrans Director Will Kempton said the estimate for the cost
of the initial ramp work is $8 million.
Although the work to get the facility open to traffic is eligible
for federal emergency relief funding, Kempton cautioned that other
collateral work included in that same estimate may not be, so
he's continuing to talk to the FHA to seek additional reimbursement.
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