May 3, 2007 in Nation/World

Bay Area road will reopen in 10 days

Los Angeles Times The Spokesman-Review
Associated Press photo

Construction crews work on a damaged portion of Interstate 580 near Oakland, Calif., on Tuesday.
(Full-size photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – It is still the Bay Area’s worst transportation disaster since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, but the damage to the maze of roads connecting several freeways near Oakland from a weekend truck explosion is not as bad as initially feared, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Wednesday.

The governor announced that a key segment of what is known as the MacArthur Maze will not need to be rebuilt. The segment, which connects Interstate 80 to Interstate 880, will be repaired and open to traffic within 10 days, he said.

“Progress at repairing the collapsed freeway connectors is moving at lightning speed,” Schwarzenegger said.

But it will still be months before traffic is back to normal in the Bay Area. An entire span of the I-580 was destroyed in the fire and needs to be completely rebuilt.

Transportation officials determined that the I-880 section could be repaired after tests of several concrete and steel samples revealed that part of the interchange, while badly damaged from the collapse of a piece of freeway above, remains structurally sound.

Caltrans estimates it will cost roughly $8 million to repair it. The cost of repairing the entire MacArthur Maze is certain to be many times that.

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