You gotta hand it to Caltrans, assuming nothing collapses this week, for getting the I-880 connector back up in a week.
I mean, it looked pretty bad after 4/29, all blackened and pockmarked, with a huge chunk of concrete safety barrier missing from the side where the gasoline tanker truck hit (explain to me again how he survived?).
Now it’s up and running, and this morning at 10 a.m., Caltrans will be live on the Web opening bids for reconstructing the melted I-580 connector ramp at www.dot.ca.gov/bidopening.
There’s a chance, I suppose, that there will be a single bid twice as high as Caltrans’ estimate, but I’m not expecting that. I saw nine contractors touring the site on Saturday, and fixing this nationally televised freeway problem would be a feather in the cap of whoever wins the job.
But don’t forget, the 580 connector is by far the greater of the two traffic roadblocks. The 880 was solved with a fairly quick all-freeway detour. The residents of Oakland will still have to deal with afternoon rush hour through their neighborhoods through June, if the 580 connector contract’s June 27 deadline is fulfilled.
In the meantime, I’m just happy to be back at work after a frustrating week of jury duty and watching the Bay Area’s big traffic emergency unfold from the sidelines.
The verdict? Hung, 9-3 in favor of convicting on rape. The defendant, a trucker (nothing to do with the Maze, to be clear) from Oregon, is likely to serve some prison time for several other felonies relating to an illicit soujourn with his best friend’s 13-year-old daughter.
Luckily for me, Caltrans is much easier to figure out.
Photo of welders heat-straightening I-880 girders courtesy of Caltrans.