Home   Google ARCHIVE SEARCH: Date:

Caltrans says steel to repair collapsed Maze
hard to find

Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

By Jeff Shuttleworth

April 30, 2007

The availability of steel could determine how quickly repairs are made to the portion of the MacArthur Maze that collapsed after a fuel tanker crashed and ignited Sunday morning, Caltrans Director Will Kempton said today.

"We will be searching the countryside for steel that will be used for the upper structure" that collapsed, Kempton told reporters at a briefing near the site of the crash and spectacular fire that reached temperatures as high as 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit.

He said, "You can't just buy steel off the shelf at the hardware store."

Caltrans Director Will Kempton

Kempton said Caltrans hopes to find a U.S. source for the steel needed for the project but will consider buying steel overseas if necessary.

The tanker, which was carrying about 8,600 gallons of gasoline, was headed westbound in Interstate Highway 80 toward southbound Interstate Highway 880 when it crashed and set off a blaze so intense that a stretch of the I-80 to Interstate Highway 580 connector, above the ramp, gave way and tumbled onto the roadway below.

Kempton said work to demolish and clean up the damaged section of the I-580 connector is proceeding quicker than originally thought and is now expected to be completed either late tonight or early Tuesday morning.

He said Caltrans hopes to complete an assessment of the damage to the I-880 connector by the end of the day on Tuesday.

Kempton said he hopes the damage to the I-880 connector is "minimal," in which case it could be repaired and reopened "in a relatively short period."

But "all bets are off" if the damage is severe and there are structural problems, he said.

Work on the I-580 connector likely will take longer and there aren't any estimates at this time on how long it will take, Kempton said.

Contractor Cleveland Wrecking Co., which is based on Covina and has been working on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge retrofit project, is doing the demolition work.

Kempton said contractor ACC West Coast, which is headquartered in Lakewood, Colo., and has a regional office in Benicia, already was doing seismic retrofit work underneath the MacArthur Maze, has been hired to do the I-880 connector repair work.

Kempton said Federal Highway Administration officials were at the explosion site today. He said he's hopeful the officials will agree that the repair work is eligible for federal emergency relief funds.

He said members of California's congressional delegation tentatively are expected to tour the site on Friday.

Kempton said Caltrans is assessing the strength of the I-880 connector in a variety of ways, including visual inspections, x-rays and gauging its tension to see what kinds of loads it can support.

"We won't put people on an unsafe structure," he said.

Copyright © 2007 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.




The Hunger Site

Cooking Classes
in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires B&B

Calitri in southern Italy

L' Aquila in Abruzzo

Health Insurance Quotes


Bruce Brugmann's


Civic Center

Dan Noyes

Greg Dewar

Griper Blade


Malik Looper






MetroWize Urban Guide

Michael Moore

N Judah Chronicles


Robert Solis

SF Bay Guardian





SFWillie's Blog



Sweet Melissa