Highway 101 in Burlingame reopens after power line repairs

Monday, August 31, 2015
Hwy 101 in Burlingame reopens in time for morning commute
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Highway 101 in Burlingame reopened Monday morning after crews worked through the weekend to restring and re-energize power lines that fell during a construction accident.

BURLINGAME, Calif. (KGO) -- All lanes of U.S. Highway 101 in the Burlingame/Millbrae area reopened in time for Monday morning's commute.

California Highway Patrol officials said the highway's southbound lanes from Millbrae Avenue in Millbrae to Poplar Avenue in San Mateo and the northbound lanes from Anza Boulevard to Broadway in Burlingame reopened at 4:15 a.m.

But Saturday morning workers did have to navigate around this major inconvenience. "Everyone was late, everyone was freaking out, we were thinking we were going to be closed for the day because no employees got here on time," restaurant manager Mario Torres said.

Employees eventually made it in to Stacks restaurant Saturday morning, but the usual customers did not. "We usually tend to be on a 30 to 45 minute wait, there was no wait at all on Saturday, so it definitely impacted us big time," Torres said.

PHOTOS: Transmission tower collapse closes Highway 101 in Burlingame

Highway 101 in Burlingame was shut down Friday night because of an accident at the Broadway overpass construction site. There were three towers, but now there are only two after a sub-contractor hit one with his excavator, which forced it to buckle sending transmission lines crashing down onto the highway. "We had several folks trapped in their cars, luckily there were no injuries," PG&E spokesperson Joe Molica said.

The Broadway over-crossing bridge reopened around 9 a.m. on Monday.

Officials reopened Highway 101 Saturday afternoon, but shut it down again Sunday night when they hauled in new lines across the highway.

"For them this is a high-wire ballet act essentially restringing these lines. We know it was trying for Bay Area commuters and thank them for their patience and we'll be working on a full investigation to find out how that contractor, that non PG&E contractor actually brought this transmission tower down," Molica said.

When people realized the highway was closed over the weekend many turned to surface streets. Some residents decided not to fight the traffic and stayed home. "We went on El Camino, we went on Alameda de Las Pulgas both of them were really congested, I mean we dealt, we just didn't travel as much that's all," Patty Hsiu said.

Crews still need to put in a permanent tower, so they're not ruling out the possibility to shut down the highway again.

PG&E officials said if they shut the highway down again, they'll work with Caltrans to make sure they minimize the impact on traffic.

Bay City News contributed to this story.