Caltrans Apologizes For Traffic Snarl Caused By Caldecott Tunnel Electrical Glitch

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Construction on the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel. (MTC)

Construction on the fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel. (MTC)

HollyQuan20100908_KCBS_0017r Holly Quan
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BERKELEY (KCBS) – Caltrans apologized for a power outage that caused major backups at the Caldecott Tunnel Monday morning because of an inability to switch the middle bore to westbound traffic. Workers were testing the new system out when they tripped a circuit that caused the glitch.

The snafu at the Berkeley Hills roadway was blamed on trying to get a 40-year-old electrical system synced with the new state-of-the-art system following the near completion of the fourth bore, set to open later this year.

Caltrans is working on a backup plan so as compatibility testing continues they won’t have a glitch that impacts the commute.

“We have been installing and integrating very sophisticated fire and life-safety systems as part of the new Caldecott fourth bore,” said Caltrans spokeswoman Ivy Morrison. “Those systems will be responsible for fire detection, suppression, motorist notification— very complex sophisticated systems, which we’re not only installing, we’re also integrating with the legacy systems.”

Caltrans has not issued an official opening date for the tunnel so they can work out the bugs.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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