Maze Mess: Bay Area Copes With Freeway Closures | News

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Maze Mess: Bay Area Copes With Freeway Closures

Wednesday, May 30, 2007
I-580 Connector Reopens Thursday Evening!

Friday, May 25, 2007 Update…The 580 connector ramp at the MacArthur Maze reopened Thursday evening, May 24, much earlier than initially anticipated by the state or the contractor, and just 25 days after the accident. This brings to a close the period for state reimbursement of augmented transit services, beginning with the Friday morning commute.

Monday, May 21, 2007… Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced that repairs to the connector between eastbound Interstate 80 and eastbound Interstate 580 would be completed Thursday night, May 24, and that connector will reopen to traffic in time for the morning commute on Friday, May 25. (Read governor's news release.)

511 Driving Times Service Updated to Include MacArthur Maze Detours

Monday, May 14, 2007… MTC has installed portable electronic devices along the designated Interstate 580 detour routes in Oakland to restore 511 Driving TimesSM service interrupted by the closure of the connector between eastbound Interstate 80 and eastbound Interstate 580. The new data collectors allow the Bay Area’s award-winning 511 system to deliver up-to-the-minute information about driving times for trips connecting via city streets to both Interstate 580 and State Route 24 through Oakland. The 511 Driving Times service is available toll free 24/7 on the phone at 511 or on the Web at

Reconstruction of the I-80/I-580 on the Fast Track – 
Contract Awarded

Tuesday, May 8, 2007… Caltrans has announced the selection of a contractor to rebuild the connector linking the east end of the Bay Bridge (Interstate 80) with eastbound Interstate 580. The winning contractor is C.C. Myers Inc. of Rancho Cordova, Calif., which submitted the low bid of $867,075. Under the terms of the contract, which was awarded Monday afternoon, the construction firm can earn an additional $200,000 for every day shaved off Caltrans’ initial schedule, which set a target completion date of June 27 for this piece of the fire-damaged Maze. C.C. Myers has indicated it can deliver the job by early June, which means it could be eligible for the maximum bonus payment of $5 million. The firm, which successfully completed the reconstruction of Interstate 10 following the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles, began work immediately. (UpdateMay 18, 2007... C.C. Myers announced this week that crews have been able to shave still more days off the I-80/I-580 repair schedule, with the result that the connector likely will open next week, before the busy Memorial Day weekend.)

I-880 Connector Reopens Early, I-580 Ramp Set to Open by June 27

Monday, May 7, 2007… The westbound Interstate 80 to southbound Interstate 880 south connector, damaged in the April 29 tanker truck accident and fire that shut down part of the MacArthur Maze, reopened to traffic early this morning. Meanwhile, replacement of the connector between eastbound Interstate 80 and eastbound Interstate 580, which was destroyed by the blaze, is scheduled for completion by June 27.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced last week that the I-880 connector would reopen within seven to 10 days. But work crews who labored around the clock for the past week were able to repair the damaged roadway and reopen the critical freeway link even sooner than predicted. To speed reopening of the I-580 connector, Caltrans will award a contract later today that includes performance bonuses of $200,000 each day for completing the work before June 27 and penalties of $200,000 each day if the work is completed after that date.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters Announces First Round of Emergency Relief

Friday, May 4, 2007… U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters today announced an initial $2 million in federal emergency relief will be available to California to repair the damaged MacArthur Maze overpass. The Secretary joined California Senator Boxer and U.S. Representatives Ellen Tauscher (D-Walnut Creek), Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) and Jim Oberstar (D-Minnesota’s 8th District and chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure).on a tour of the site to see the repairs that will be required.

“We’re not going to let funding for the Maze get tangled in a web of bureaucracy,” Secretary Peters said. “That is why the Department has cut through the red tape to make Emergency Relief funds immediately available to help get this bridge open and people moving again.”

The Secretary said the $2 million is a “first installment of funds that will give construction crews the support they need to do their jobs,” and that additional federal dollars are expected to follow once the full project cost is determined. She pledged that the federal government will continue to be a close partner with the state to do everything possible to get the bridge up and running as soon as possible.

Boxer also spoke of the need to quickly restore the interchange. “My goal here is to make California whole again,” she said.

Through its Emergency Relief program, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration reimburses states for expenses associated with emergency situations. The projects paid for by the funds include rebuilding or replacing damaged bridges, highways, lighting, guardrails and signs, creating detours and debris removal.

Governor Schwarzenegger Fast-Tracks Bay Area Freeway Collapse Repairs — 
I-880 Connector Will Open in Less Than 10 Days

Wednesday, May 2, 2007... With construction crews working around the clock, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today that the damaged Interstate 80 to Interstate 880 connector in the MacArthur Maze would be fully open to traffic within 7 to 10 days. Engineers have determined that the lower deck that bore the brunt of the collapse can be repaired and does not have to be scrapped and rebuilt. In an effort to further speed repairs, the Governor issued a directive to Caltrans to use incentive-based contracts.
(Read full press release)

MTC Teams With Caltrans and the Region’s Transit Operators to Respond to Freeway Closures

Monday, April 30, 2007… Bay Area transportation agencies are teaming up with Caltrans and the state Business, Transportation and Housing Agency to boost capacity on the region’s rail, bus and ferry systems in the wake of the accident and fire that closed two key freeway connectors in the East Bay early Sunday morning: a portion of the eastbound Interstate 80-to-eastbound Interstate 580 ramp, and the southbound connector between Interstate 80 and Interstate 880. The segments are part of the two-level "Maze" in the vicinity of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The governor on Sunday declared a state of emergency, authorizing one day of free transit rides (subsidized with state funds) throughout the Bay Area on Monday. Meanwhile, transit agencies scrambled to boost service along key routes — including BART, the Alameda-Oakland Ferry and AC Transit. While the free-ride program ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday night, several Bay Area transit agencies will be expanding their operations for as long as necessary during the current transportation emergency.

The expansion of transit service is part of a joint effort by Caltrans, MTC and local transit agencies to ward off gridlock and maintain mobility options for Bay Area residents and businesses in the wake of the closure of these key connectors, which, according to Caltrans, normally carry 80,000 vehicles daily.

At a press conference this afternoon, the state offered to reimburse Bay Area transit agencies for any required continued expansion of transit service for the duration of the closures. “We want to thank the state and the governor for not only working diligently to repair the roadways as quickly as possible, but also for funding transit options in the meantime,” said Randy Rentschler, director of Legislation and Public Affairs for MTC. “This is a demand-driven operation. We’re going to monitor demand and adjust service on a daily basis.”


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