Crews hope to reopen Caldecott Tunnel

January 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Crews dealt with major flooding issues in the Caldecott Tunnel on Tuesday and it is a problem they are hoping to resolve before Wednesday morning's commute and the next big storm.

The bore was closed for almost 3.5 hours, leaving only one bore open in each direction and causing a traffic back-up. Caltrans decided to reopen the bore for the evening commute around 3:30 p.m.

Caltrans re-shut down the #3 bore at 10 p.m. because they were trying to unclog a drainage pipe before the next storm hits during Wednesday's commute.

They closed it earlier on Tuesday because the tunnel started flooding. Apparently, the storm surge washed rocks and sediment off the Canyon Walls along Highway 24 and there was so much of it that it clogged a drain that is at least 14 inches wide.

Caltrans reopened the tunnel around 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, but about four feet of pipe was still plugged up with California clay and gravel, so in the evening crews were back at it again.

"The main thing they are doing is monitoring. If things become hazardous, we're going to close it. Until then, we hope that the weather will cooperate until we can do our nighttime work and clear that drain out," said Allyn Amsk from Caltrans.

Caltrans is still racing against the clock to unclog the sewage pipe before the next storm hits.