Caldecott Tunnel Nears Completion

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Caldecott Tunnel

Workers watch the tunnel breakthrough in November 2011.
Photo by Karl Nielsen, MTC.

Fourth Bore Tentatively Set to Open Weekend of Nov. 16-17, 2013

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The California Department of Transportation, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, the Alameda County Transportation Commission and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission announced that the Caldecott Fourth Bore is on schedule to open to traffic in November, pending the successful completion of critical fire and life safety systems testing. The agencies anticipate that the tunnel will open to traffic the weekend of Nov. 16-17 (weather permitting) – less than four years after the groundbreaking, and as per the project schedule.

Caldecott Tunnel Workers Watch Breakthrough

Part of a state of the art system of fire and life safety notification and incident response, the jet fans will be monitored by trained professionals in the nearby Operations and Maintenance Control building. Photo by Karl Nielsen, MTC.

With the Fourth Bore’s excavation, façade and soundwalls completed, state-of-the-art fire and life safety systems are currently being installed and tested. These systems allow trained professionals to monitor and respond to threats inside the tunnel, including detecting and suppressing fires and other hazards, and providing real-time information to help motorists safely exit in an emergency.

These systems will be monitored and controlled at the new Operations and Maintenance Control (OMC) building outside the tunnel. Safety professionals stationed there will be able to monitor all four Caldecott Tunnel bores beginning in late 2013, as well as the Webster-Posey Tubes. In the future, OMC building staff will also be able to monitor safety and traffic at other Caltrans tunnels throughout the Bay Area, including Presidio Parkway and Devil’s Slide.

The Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Project, which will bring congestion relief in the off-peak direction to commuters between Alameda and Contra Costa counties, is made possible through a partnership of federal, state and local government agencies. At the time that funding was awarded in 2009, the Fourth Bore was the largest stimulus-funded transportation project in the entire country. It is also receiving significant funding through Measure J, a half-cent sales tax measure passed by Contra Costa voters in 2004.

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