Caldecott Tunnel | 511 Contra Costa

Motorist advisory: Sunday March 2, 2014 Westbound-24 Freeway Closure near Caldecott Tunnel

Caltrans will temporarily close Bore #3 of the Caldecott Tunnel and a 3/4-mile-long stretch of westbound Highway 24 west of the tunnel in Oakland for several hours during the early morning of Sunday, March 2nd. The purpose of the closure is to facilitate the removal of 80-foot-wide highway directional sign that has been replaced by new directional signs.
Eastbound traffic on SR-24 will not be impacted by this closure, and will remain open to traffic.
In order to minimize disruptions to motorists along the SR-24 corridor, Caltrans has scheduled work to occur during a period of typically low traffic volume. We thank motorists in advance for their cooperation during the upcoming closure.
Motorists are encouraged to use alternative routes during this temporary closure.
Pending favorable weather conditions, the following closures and detours are planned:
Closures:
Sunday, March 2 from 12:01 am – 5 am

  • Orinda: The left lanes of westbound SR-24 will be closed
  • Bore #3 and westbound SR-24 in Oakland from the Caldecott Tunnel to the westbound 24/northbound 13 connector ramp will be closed to traffic

Saturday, March 1 from 6 pm – Sunday, March 2 at 11 am

  • The westbound Caldecott Lane On-Ramp in Oakland will be closed to traffic

Detours:

  • To access Highway 13: Motorists using Bore #4 will be detoured to the Caldecott Lane off-ramp in Oakland to access north and southbound Highway 13. (Please see detour map below)
  • To continue westbound: Motorists continuing westbound will be detoured north across the Kay Street Bridge and west on Broadway to the westbound Broadway on-ramp in Oakland (Please see detour map below)

Detour signs will be posted along SR-24 in Oakland during the closure.
Below is a map of the planned detour on Sunday, March 2 from 12:01 – 5 a.m.
caldecott-tunnel-detour-2014

Celebrate the completion of the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Tomorrow, Friday November 15, 2013

On Friday, November 15th at 1:30 p.m. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will join project partners to celebrate the construction of the Caldecott Fourth Bore with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The ceremony will be attended by:

  • U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx
  • Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty
  • Metropolitan Transportation Commission Chair Amy Rein Worth
  • Contra Costa Transportation Authority Chair Janet Abelson
  • Student designers of the Fourth Bore medallions

The event will happen near the east portal of the Caldecott Tunnel in Contra Costa County.

Inside the new Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore, taken by San Francisco Chronicle transportation reporter Michael Cabanatuan
Inside the new Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore, taken by San Francisco Chronicle transportation reporter Michael Cabanatuan (@ctuan)

The $417 million Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore project was completed in less than four years, and under budget, and is expected to provide significant congestion relief to motorists traveling along State Route 24 between Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in the off-peak direction by permanently dedicating two tunnels to travel in each direction.
The Fourth Bore was one of the largest recipients of Recovery Act funding in the nation, and its successful construction has been a partnership of the Federal Highway Administration, the California Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area Toll Authority, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Alameda County Transportation Commission.
The six students whose designs were chosen in a regional competition will participate in the unveiling of the mounted Art Deco-inspired medallions, which will grace both portals of the new tunnel.

To see all winners and honorable mentions for the contest, see our board on Pinterest.
 

Planned closure of the Caldecott Tunnel through Saturday, Oct 12, 2013

Starting on Saturday, October 5 and continuing through Saturday, October 12, overnight closures are anticipated for bores #2 OR bore #3 (alternately) of the Caldecott tunnel.
The Tentative Schedule for Bore #2 OR #3 Overnight Closures is as follows:
Friday/Saturday Nights:  11pm to 9am
Weeknights:  10pm to 4am
Please note that Bore #3 closures will also require overnight closures of the Westbound Fish Ranch Road On-Ramp in Orinda and the Westbound Caldecott Lane Off-Ramp, as follows:
10 p.m. – 8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights
9 p.m. – 4 a.m. on weeknights
These closures will facilitate critical fire & life safety system work.
The $405 million Caldecott Fourth Bore Project includes the construction of a 3,200-foot-long, two-lane tunnel, which is on schedule to open to traffic in late 2013.

OVERNIGHT CALDECOTT TUNNEL AND RAMP CLOSURES – TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

On Tuesday, September 10, 2013, the westbound Fish Ranch Road on-ramp in Orinda, Bore Three and the westbound Caldecott Lane off-ramp in Oakland will be closed, beginning at 10:00 p.m. and reopening at 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 11, 2013.
In addition to the excavation of a 3,400-foot-long tunnel north of the existing three bores, the $405 million Caldecott Fourth Bore Project includes traffic improvements on the eastern and western sides of the tunnel. The tunnel is on schedule to open to traffic in late 2013.

Overnight Caldecott Tunnel and Ramp Closures – Friday September 6, 2013

On Friday, September 6, 2013, the westbound Fish Ranch Road on-ramp in Orinda, Bore Three and the westbound Caldecott Lane off-ramp in Oakland will be closed, beginning at 10:00 p.m. and reopening at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 7, 2013.
In addition to the excavation of a 3,400-foot-long tunnel north of the existing three bores, the $405 million Caldecott Fourth Bore Project includes traffic improvements on the eastern and western sides of the tunnel. The tunnel is on schedule to open to traffic in late 2013.
View the Caldecott Tunnel Traffic Advisories page

Caldecott Tunnel Traffic Advisory: Planned overnight Caldecott Tunnel and Ramp Closures (Aug. 2013)

Closures this evening: On Tuesday, August 27, 2013, the westbound Fish Ranch Road on-ramp in Orinda, Bore Three and the Caldecott Lane off-ramp in Oakland will be closed, beginning at 10 PM and reopening at 4 AM on Wednesday, August 28, 2013.
In addition to the excavation of a 3,400-foot-long tunnel north of the existing three bores, the $405 million Caldecott Fourth Bore Project includes traffic improvements on the eastern and western sides of the tunnel. The tunnel is on schedule to open to traffic in late 2013.

Fire Prevention and Incident Response for the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore (2013)

The fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel  has what is called a Fire-Life-Safety System as illustrated below.

Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Fire-Life-Safety System

Fire-Life-Safety System includes:

  • Emergency lights
  • Carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide sensors monitor air quality.
  • 19 jet fans mounted at the top can redirect air flow in either direction.
  • 17 emergency stations equipped with a fire extinguisher, manual fire alarms and emergency phones.
  • Video image detectors to notify operators of an incident in the tunnel.

Both the Oakland and Moraga-Orinda Fire Departments respond to tunnel fires. Crosspassages between bores 3 and 4 will allow for evacuation.
Crosspassages are equipped with:

  • Closed-circuit televisions and intercoms
  • A ventilation system designed to prevent smoke and flames from entering

In addition, message signs at the portal and within the tunnel will display messages, and a tunnel radio system is in place to override other radio stations to give emergency messages to motorists.
For more information on Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore emergency procedures, it’s detailed in the Caldecott Tunnel Spring-Summer 2013 Project Update (PDF)

Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore breakthrough photo wins grand prize in AASHTO contest (2013)

MTC Photographer Karl Nielsen's photograph of the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore breakthrough won grand prize in AASHTO's Faces of Transportation competition

In November, it was announced that Metropolitan Transportation Commission Photographer Karl Nielsen’s photograph of the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore breakthrough won grand prize in AASHTO’s Faces of Transportation competition.
The photo took grand prize amongst 126 entries across three categories.
The breakthrough occurred in November of 2011 when the east and west sides of the tunnel met. Here’s an awesome video of it happening:

Karl Nielsen’s photo of this Caldecott Tunnel shotcrete nozzleman also won in the Building the Future – Individual category.
MTC Photographer Karl Nielsen's photograph of this Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore construction worker won in AASHTO's Faces of Transportation Building the Future Individual photo competition
View the list of all winners in all categories.

Year in Review: 2012

san-francisco-fireworks-2012-nye

Image credit: David Yu

511CC’s 2012 Year in Review

From the Caldecott Tunnel breakthrough to Bay Area transit agencies celebrating milestones for service, 2012 was a great year for biking, transit and transportation. Here are some of this year’s top stories.

Top Tweets

Some of our most popular tweets (number of link clicks) in 2012 linked to these articles:

BART pedestrian origin outliers
Image credit: Eric Fischer

2012 highlights

Here are some transportation highlights from the year.
JAN
511 Freeway Aid

FEB
WHEELS
 

  • LAVTA retrofits 30 Wheels buses to make boarding with strollers easier

 
MAR
Union Pacific from near Pinole, CA facing west

Image credit: Steve C.

APR

 

MAY
golden-gate-bridge

JUN
mission-bicycle-20090513-110748
 

JUL
sf-muni-bus
 

Image credit: torbakhopper

AUG
 

 

Image credit: Karl Nielsen/Metropolitan Transportation Commission

SEPT

 

Image credit:  Bay Area Rapid Transit archives

OCT
bart-subway-stn

NOV
Amtrak's Capitol Corridor
 

DEC
Opening of Municipal Railway, San Francisco
 

Image credit: SFMTA / John Henry Mentz

For more interesting articles and tips on biking, transit, and transportation in the Bay Area don’t miss our Twitter feed and our blog.

Caldecott Tunnel Excavation Completed

On September 21, 2012 – almost exactly two years from the start of tunneling – all excavation of the Fourth Bore was completed. An update on tunnel progress with photographs and additional information can be downloaded from our website (PDF).

The tunnel now measures almost 10 meters (33 feet) high and 13 meters (43 feet) wide for its entire length. Crews are currently working around the clock to complete the installation of a waterproof membrane to prevent groundwater seepage, as well as a rebar cage and final lining arch, which will provide both flexibility and strength in the event of an earthquake. The final lining, which requires a total of 69 concrete pours, or “lifts,” is what motorists will see as they travel through the tunnel.

Although we are pleased with the significant progress to date, there is still much work to be done before the tunnel is ready for traffic in late 2013. This work includes paving of the roadway inside and outside of the tunnel, completion of the portal arch on the tunnel’s eastern end, as well as the installation, configuration and integration of electrical, drainage and ventilation systems. These operational and safety systems will be controlled from the new state-of-the-art Operations and Maintenance Control building. Crews will also construct a permanent sound wall in Oakland measuring 2.5 meters (eight feet) high and 161 meters (528 feet) long.

When the tunnel is completed, its eastern and western portals will be adorned by medallions. The medallion designs will be influenced by artwork provided by young residents in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.

For detailed information on the progress of the Fourth Bore’s construction, please see the Fall Project Update, which is available for download here (PDF). Please continue to visit the website for updates on tunnel progress.

Over the next three months, Caltrans and its partners, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Alameda County Transportation Commission, will host ceremonies for participants in the medallion design contest in both Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, and the Caldecott Tunnel project team will mark the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Tunnel’s first two bores. If you have friends or neighbors who would like to stay updated on the project, please ask them to sign up for these email alerts at www.Caldecott-Tunnel.org/stay-informed/contact-us.

The Caldecott Fourth Bore Project is a partnership between the Federal Highway Administration, the California Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, and the Alameda County Transportation Commission. 

How to Build a 21st Century Tunnel in Earthquake Country

Photo: Karl Nielsen/Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Building a modern-day tunnel in one of the country’s most active seismic zones starts with a mass of bodies. A meeting to discuss the subject begins with four engineering experts, and a Caltrans spokesperson.
What Pat Hipley, Gursharnjeet Cheema, Ben Edalati, Sean Coughlin and Ivy Morrison say about the $402 million project that promises to erase the daily parking lot known as California’s Highway 24 with a swift-flowing commute. The all-new fourth bore might be the safest spot in the San Francisco Bay Area, even  in the event of “the big one”.
Buried in the rocky depths of the Oakland/Berkeley Hills, Caldecott Tunnel is just 0.9 miles from the active Hayward Fault. The tunnel being considered a, “lifeline structure,” the seismic criteria required  3-D simulations to test deformation of the tunnel’s double-layer rebar cage lining. Twenty-five inch thick lining is composed of 15 inches of thin,flexible steel and approximately 10 inches of “codified” shotcrete, it’s designed to withstand vertical and horizontal forces.
Due to the mish-mashed, always-moving strata, actual excavation required special ventilation, a massive, custom-built 130-ton drill, and a technique known as the New Austrian Tunneling Method. This method requires intimate knowledge of the hardness and variability of a tunnel bore’s surrounding geology, which indicates the stress applied and dictates when supports must be erected during excavation.
The tunnel is scheduled to be open in 2013, the Operations and Maintenance Center (OMC) — a two-story structure above the tunnel’s west portals — will be the repository of all things connected. Hipley, who works with the California Geological Survey to maintain the bridges throughout the state, describes the bore’s Strong Seismic Motion Detectors.“The recorder’s in a fire niche, mounted in a recessed cabinet in the concrete,” he begins. “Detectors are at three quarter points and at each end and are wired back to the recorder. They measure acceleration: longitudinal, transverse, and vertical.” “The recorder has a 30-second buffer,” Coughlin explains, “it’s erasing the data, until a trigger hits, then it goes back and — boom – it captures data permanently.”
Photo: Karl Nielsen/Metropolitan Transportation Commission

A 4.0 earthquake would generate about 1.8 inches of movement. “We don’t think they’ll be much movement, because the tunnel is within a mountain,” he says.
“A tunnel is inherently stable; it moves with the hill,” says Coughlin. “You’re more likely to trigger a [walk-through] inspection because of a panel falling from the ceiling or the pavement bucking.”
“People will be more concerned with the bridges than the tunnel,” Hipley interjects.
“A bridge is like pushing someone on a swing, it’s going to go higher and higher; it’s called ‘harmonic vibration.’ But a mountain, it’s going to want to stop moving.”
Fire, which all of the experts agree poses more danger than earthquakes.
Linear heat detectors, cameras, jet fans and cross passages with intelligent control systems between bores three and four will improve a mass evacuation in the event of a fire or earthquake. Seventeen cameras in the new bore will transmit vital information to emergency responders. Variable message signs will run real-time, tunnel-specific updates and radio rebroadcast will allow fire departments to use a separate frequency (the absence of this was significant in the 1991 Oakland fire). Announcements to motorists will be broadcast regardless of AM or FM tuning and inner-tunnel repeater antennae will magnify cellular signals.
The OMC will feed information to Caltrans’ central Traffic Management Center and the California Highway Patrol within seconds, Edalati explains, but stops just short of delving into the security details.
Caldecott Tunnel Fourth-bore will be one of the most advanced, tech-laden tunnels in the world — and will also be one of the safest.
Read the full article here.

Caldecott Traffic Advisory: Planned Overnight Westbound Lane and Ramp Closures

Closures tentatively will occur Monday night, July 2 (ending in the early morning of July 3) and Thursday, July 5 (ending in the early morning of July 6).  There will be no closures on Tuesday night, July 3, or Wednesday, July 4.

  • Overnight Westbound Fish Ranch Road Onramp Closures (in Orinda): Occurring between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Overnight Closures of right lanes on Westbound State Route 24 from the Camino Pablo Onramp (in Orinda) to Bore Three: Occurring between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 4 a.m.
  • Overnight Bore Three Closures (towards Oakland): Occurring between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Please note:  On Friday night (July 6) closures of the above lanes and ramps are planned to begin one hour later than the Monday – Thursday schedule described above.  The anticipated reopening times on Saturday, July 7, are as follows:

  • Westbound Fish Ranch Road Onramp in Orinda expected to reopen at 8 a.m. on Saturday, July 7
  • Westbound State Route 24 right lanes between Camino Pablo onramp in Orinda and Bore #3 expected to reopen at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 7
  • Bore #3 (towards Oakland) expected to reopen at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 7

In addition to the excavation of a 3,400-foot-long tunnel north of the existing three bores, the $391.8 million Caldecott Fourth Bore Project includes traffic improvements on the eastern and western sides of the tunnel.
For more information on the upcoming closures visit the Traffic Page of the project website.

Caldecott Traffic Advisory: Planned Overnight Westbound Lane and Ramp Closures

Closures tentatively will begin Monday night, June 11 and will occur nightly through Thursday, June 14 (ending in the early morning of June 15).

  • Overnight Westbound Fish Ranch Road Onramp Closures (in Orinda): Occurring nightly between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Overnight Closures of right lanes on Westbound State Route 24 from the Camino Pablo Onramp (in Orinda) to Bore Three: Occurring nightly between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 4 a.m.
  • Overnight Bore Three Closures (towards Oakland): Occurring nightly between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Please note: On Friday night (June 15) closures of the above lanes and ramps are planned to begin one hour later than the Monday – Thursday schedule described above. The anticipated reopening times on Saturday, June 16, are as follows:

  • Westbound Fish Ranch Road Onramp in Orinda expected to reopen at 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 16
  • Westbound State Route 24 right lanes between Camino Pablo onramp in Orinda and Bore #3 expected to reopen at 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 16
  • Bore #3 (towards Oakland) expected to reopen at 7 a.m. on Saturday, June 16

In addition to the excavation of a 3,400-foot-long tunnel north of the existing three bores, the $391.8 million Caldecott Fourth Bore Project includes traffic improvements on the eastern and western sides of the tunnel.
For more information on the upcoming closures visit the Traffic Page of the project website.

Traffic Advisory: Overnight Westbound Lane & Ramp Closures for work on Caldecott Fourth Bore

Below is the anticipated schedule of upcoming westbound ramp and lane closures associated with work on the Caldecott Fourth Bore Project.
The Week of February 27, 2012:
Closures begin Monday night, February 27 and will tentatively occur nightly through Friday, March 2.

  • Overnight Westbound Fish Ranch Road Onramp Closures (in Orinda) Occurring nightly between the hours of 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
  • Overnight Lane Closures on Westbound State Route 24 from Wilder Ranch Onramp (in Orinda) to Bore Three (towards Oakland): Occurring nightly between the hours of 9:30 p.m. and 4 a.m.
  • Overnight Bore Three Closures (towards Oakland): Occurring nightly between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

Please note: On Friday and Saturday nights (March 2 & 3) closures of the above lanes and ramps are planned to begin one hour later than the Monday-Thursday schedule. The planned reopening times are as follows:

  • Westbound Fish Ranch Road Onramp expected to reopen at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 3
  • Westbound State Route 24 Lane Closure between Wilder Ranch Onramp and Bore #3 expected to reopen at 7 a.m. on Saturday, March 3
  • Bore #3 (towards Oakland) expected to reopen at 6 a.m. on Saturday, March 3

In addition to the excavation of a 3,400-foot-long tunnel north of the existing three bores, the $391 million Caldecott Fourth Bore Project includes traffic improvements on the eastern and western sides of the tunnel.
For more information on the upcoming ramp closure, visit www.caldecott-tunnel.org.

This Week's Headlines in Transportation and Transit: Nov. 26 – Dec. 2, 2011

Caldecott Tunnel workers see light, BART is one step closer to San Jose, local bike shops you should check out. Read our weekly news & events roundup for Contra Costa County, East Bay & Bay Area for transit, biking and transportation.

Caldecott Traffic Advisory

TRAFFIC ADVISORY: 
EVENING RAMP CLOSURES
Oakland, Calif., – Below is the scheduled upcoming closures associated with work on the Caldecott Fourth Bore Project.
Please note that fog and inclement weather would impact the schedule.
Contra Costa County:.
Westbound Fish Ranch Road On-Ramp: Planned closures between the hours of 9 p.m. Monday, November 21 and 5 a.m. Tuesday, November 22; and between the hours of 9 p.m. Tuesday, November 22 and 5 a.m. Wednesday, November 23.
The work is being performed as part of the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Project.  In addition to the excavation of a 3,400-foot-long tunnel north of the existing three bores, the project involves traffic improvements on the eastern and western sides of the tunnel.
For more information on the upcoming ramp closure, log on to www.caldecott-tunnel.org

Caldecott ramp closures tonight, Aug 30th to Thursday, Sept 1st

Below is the schedule of closures Tuesday evening – Wednesday morning (August 30 – 31) and Wednesday evening – Thursday morning (Aug. 31 – Sept. 1). These closures are associated with work on the Caldecott Fourth Bore Project.

Westbound (in Oakland)

Westbound Caldecott Lane Off-Ramp:

  • Closed from 8 PM on Tuesday, 8/30 – 6 AM on Wednesday, 8/31.
  • Closed from 8 PM on Wednesday, 8/31 – 6 AM on Thursday, 9/1.

Vehicles will be detoured to the State Route 13 connector ramp.

Westbound Closures in Contra Costa County (August 30 – 31 & August 31 – Sept. 1)

Fish Ranch Road On-Ramp:

  • Closed from 9 PM on Tuesday, 8/30 – 5 AM on Wednesday, 8/31
  • Closed from 9 PM on Wednesday, 8/31 – 5 AM on Thursday, 9/1.

Vehicles will be detoured to eastbound State Route 24 and take the Wilder Ranch exit. Vehicles will access 24 westbound at Wilder Ranch.
Bore #3 (Westbound from Contra Costa):

  • Closed from 10 PM Tuesday, 8/30 – 4 AM on Wednesday, 8/31
  • Closed from 10 PM Wednesday, 8/31 – 4 AM on Thursday, 9/1

For more information on the upcoming ramp closure, visit www.caldecott-tunnel.org