After a tanker truck
flipped and caught fire beneath the Golden State (5) and Glendale
(2) freeways on July 13, the 5 freeway closed for nearly three
days causing a major traffic jam, fuel spillage into surrounding
drains and a hazardous smoke scare.
Transportation officials are saying, via a Caltrans Blog post dated Aug. 20, it will cost an estimated $16.5 million to repair and reopen the tunnel.
Patch spoke with Caltrans Public Information Officer Patrick Chandler on Aug. 15, who said at that time the project was estimated at approximately $6 million.
Chandler told Patch Thursday the cost changed from last week as they gained knowledge of the tunnels construction needs. Caltrans is responsible for paying for the incident itself (the response and the clearing of the damage) as well as the repair work.
“(Caltrans) identified more that needed to be done,” he said. “(Last week,) we only knew what we knew at that time. Now we know more and all the different groups within Caltrans have submitted what still needs to be done to get the structure back up in place so that’s why the number goes up. But once the bids come in the number could drop substantially”
The blog said that Caltrans has completed the structural testing of the tunnel and will need to repair the damaged walls, columns, outrigger breams and pavement.
“After several rounds of exhaustive tests, we are confident that our solutions will be quick and cost effective,” said Acting District 7 Director Carrie Bowen in the blog post. “Emergency projects are always fluid, but we are moving as much red tape as possible to safely open this connector for all motorists.”
Chandler said repairs will include hydro-demolition, a process that uses a high pressure hose to clear burnt concrete off of the inside of the tunnel; high epoxy injections, which will use a strong polymer to fill the cracks in the walls so there is no moisture and the rebar doesn’t rust; and carbon fiber wraps to help support the structure.
The repairs are scheduled to begin in October and the tunnel is tentatively scheduled to reopen by Christmas.