I-5 truck tunnel set to reopen today

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “It will be open for the evening commute,” Bonfilio said. Oxnard-based Security Paving Company Inc. will be paid $11 million for the work plus the bonus for finishing early. The contractor Security Paving had faced a $150,000-a-day penalty if work ran behind schedule. It was a rainy night Oct. 12 when a truck near the exit of the southbound tunnel skidded out of control, igniting a pileup involving 30 trucks and a car. Two truck drivers and a boy traveling with his father were killed. NEWHALL – The freeway truck tunnel in which three people died last month in an explosive chain-reaction collision will reopen this afternoon, a week ahead of schedule, Caltrans officials said Wednesday. Spurred by a $2.9 million incentive for an early opening, contractors finished repairs to the Newhall truck bypass tunnel on the Golden State Freeway well ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday rush, said Jeanne Bonfilio, a Caltrans spokeswoman. “We’re really happy to open this early and open it safely,” Bonfilio said. State Department of Transportation engineers inspected the work this afternoon and gave their OK for a 5 p.m. opening today. Cargo loads exploded in flames that burned overnight as hot as 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit and caused extensive damage to the structure, melting some of the steel reinforcement. There was initial concern that the main freeway lanes that run over the tunnel were compromised, but within days the lanes were deemed safe. Security Paving replaced part of the tunnel wall, a section of ceiling and the pavement. Lighting was added and railings replaced. The investigation into what went wrong is being conducted by a special California Highway Patrol team and is not complete. Caltrans is now studying a series of recommendations from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to improve safety. Those include adding a control system to block traffic from the tunnel should a fire alarm sound, installing ventilation and emergency lighting and providing a water source outside for firefighting. The tunnel closure resulted in big rigs sharing the freeway with passenger lanes, a mix that clogged the road more than usual. Caltrans was hoping to reopen the tunnel – thus taking trucks off the passenger lanes – in time for Thanksgiving traffic. Last year, almost 3 million Southern Californians took to the roads over the holiday. [email protected] 661-257-5251160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more