Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Boasts High-Tech Safety Features

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Crews at the site of the Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore construction. (Caltrans)

Crews at the site of the Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore construction. (Caltrans)

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ORINDA (KCBS)— The new fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel will have several escape routes for commuters in the event of a major emergency, according to Caltrans.

Spokeswoman Ivy Morrison said officials have been receiving a lot of calls from commuters driving through the third bore of the tunnel. They’re asking about the concrete barriers alongside the tunnel walls.

Workers have placed the barriers at different points along the tunnel route to facilitate the construction of seven cross passages that will eventually connect the fourth bore to the third bore.

“There will be electronically operated doors that open in the event of an emergency. We’re in the process of building a state of the art facility with very sophisticated monitoring systems,” Morrison said.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

Currently the Caldecott Tunnel has no escape routes for commuters should there be a major accident or emergency like one that happened 30 years ago when a fire in the tunnel killed seven people.

Morrison said the work isn’t creating any traffic problems at the Caldecott and that the work is being done at night and if it is, it’s mostly ramp closures.

The $390 million project is on schedule and is expected to open for traffic sometime in late 2013.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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