: views from the Hill

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The driver hailed a taxi which took him to Kaiser Hospital, Oakland

Had a note from our beast wrangler about "news" and how it would affect her drive over here the next time we went on a trip. She guessed she'd have to use 101.


I checked online and found that 250 yds of the MacArthur maze interchange leading to the Bay Bridge collapsed this morning after a tanker truck loaded with 8600 gallons of unleaded gasoline on its way to a gas station in Oakland lost control and overturned at 3:40 a.m.

The driver got out of the truck under his own steam and walked to a nearby gas station where he grabbed a taxi which took him to Kaiser Hospital, Oakland. Kaiser later transferred him to the burn unit at St. Francis Hospital, here in San Francisco, where he's being treated for second degree burns. And that's it! That's the extent of injuries!

Alas for the roadway, though, the truck didn't do as well. After the driver got out, the truck exploded. The firemen got the fire out by 5:50 a.m. but by then the fireball had burned so hot (in excess of 2000 dF) for so long that the steel in the roadway softened and twisted, the bolts holding the concrete failed and the structure collapsed.


We keep wondering what will happen if something happens to that bridge. 270-280K people a day use the Bay Bridge to get from here to there or vice versa. Well, here goes. A wakeup call. It could've been worse, a lot worse.

Luckily, the bridge is intact. You can get across the bridge but once you get to the east end its roundabout detours to get where you want to go if you usually take the pieces of freeway that were damaged and getting onto the bridge to head west is also a problem. There are alternative routes that are usable. BART is adding more cars. ACTransit is advertising its bus service. Traffic will be hellacious.

Update: Will Kempton, CalTrans, says that the two roadways that are damaged carry approximately 30K vehicles a day each. Even if your route isn't compromised, you'll be stuck in traffic caused by those whose routes are.

Update2: Schwarzenegger sez free rides! tomorrow on all transit. BART sez FREE PARKING IN THE BART LOTS! His nibs sez, "Who's going to pay for all this?"

What a mess. It will be months before the busted parts and the parts that may have been weakened can be rebuilt and usable.

What a mess.

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