Ribbon-cutting takes place for Caldecott Tunnel

ORINDA, Calif.

The tunnel has passed all its tests, the state fire marshal signed off on it on Friday, the ribbon has been cut and it's time to open this long-awaited bore to East Bay commuters.

Caltrans committed to opening the new 4th bore of the Caldecott Tunnel earlier than originally expected. Not only will it be a major relief for drivers, but the project is ahead of schedule and under budget.

The ribbon-cutting comes just four years after ground was broken for the $417 million project.

"Of all the projects undertaken with Recovery Act funds, the Caldecott Tunnel's 4th bore is certainly one of the largest and today it is complete," said U.S. Transportation Sec. Anthony Foxx.

"It's such an exciting day for the East Bay and all the people that use this corridor every day, during the week, on the weekends. It's going to make such a huge difference in the quality of people's lives as they commute through this corridor," said Amy Worth from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

From now on, instead of the long backups in the off peak direction, there will be four lanes permanently dedicated, each way. Congressman George Miller said for the tens of thousands of regular Caldecott users, there should be no more slow backups.

"The most often words uttered about the Caldecott Tunnel for people who hit the Orinda dip or come around the corner of Highway 13 is, 'Oh, damn, son of a b****,' because they just didn't time it right," said U.S. Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez.

Anyone who has regularly used the Caldecott certainly knows that feeling.

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