AASHTO Journal, 22 November 2013
The California Department of Transportation on Monday opened to traffic the $417 million fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel, which connects Alameda and Contra Costa counties, roughly a month ahead of schedule and millions under budget.
The fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel provides congestion relief to residents and workers in the East Bay by ending the daily process of switching the traffic direction of the third bore to accommodate travel. The new bore includes wide travel lanes, shoulders, bright lighting, emergency exists, and various safety systems.
The project, which has been in the works for four years, was the recipient of one of the nation’s largest American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants (totaling about $194 million). Other funding sources for the project were the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, which contributed $125 million; a 2012 voter-approved state transportation bond (Proposition 1B), contributing $11 million; and Bay Area bridge tolls, which contributed the remaining balance.
“We have a new world-class tunnel that will go a long way toward easing traffic bottlenecks and improving safety for motorists,” said Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty in a statement.
The project, initially slated to cost $420 million, was completed $3 million under budget and a month before its projected December opening.
“In a country where so many issues are so divisive, more and more people are coming to see what those who travel the Caldecott today will see: a remarkable work of engineering, the hard work of the thousands of men and women who helped build it, and the effective partnership that improved a critical transportation resource,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in his blog.