DanvilleSanRamon.com

Newsfront - December 7, 2007

Engineer tells a-mazing tale

Rotary hears about the 26-day repair wonder on I-880

by Jordan M. Doronila

Drivers were amazed when Oakland's MacArthur Maze was repaired in 26 days last spring after a gasoline truck fire April 29 melted the I-580 to I-880 interchange, creating horrendous traffic jams.

All the local government agencies worked together, said Peter Strykerf, senior bridge engineer for Caltrans, who was involved in the maze's restoration.

Strykerf gave a presentation Monday to the San Ramon Valley Rotary Club about the interchange work, at its weekly luncheon at the Brass Door in San Ramon.

He noted that teamwork, having daily meetings with managers to be on the same page, and having support by upper management were the major factors why the maze was repaired quickly.

"When you get the support from the people, it motivates you," Strykerf said.

After the I-580 interchange fell on top of 880, crew members first had to remove the debris, Strykerf said. When rubble was removed, government officials evaluated the heat impact on the interchange structures by analyzing concrete cores and steel samples. Once that was finished, crew members put support under the I-880 interchange and made corrections to the structure.

The state hired C.C. Meyers after the contractor made a low bid of $800,000 to repair two spans of the I-580 interchange. But he was told he would receive $5 million in incentives if he would finish the project quickly.

Indeed, he did. He finished in 26 days, Strykerf said.

Strykerf also showed diagrams to illustrate the process, and photos of the damage and the repairs.

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