by Bay City News Service
Three Contra Costa County students, including one from Pleasant Hill, received special recognition Wednesday night for designing medallions that will adorn the Caldecott Tunnel's Fourth Bore.
The designs, chosen from hundreds of entries in the Caldecott Fourth Bore Medallion Design Competition, will be the basis for concrete medallions that will be installed on the eastern side of the Fourth Bore tunnel on state Highway 24 between Oakland and Orinda.
Three other medallions designed by students in Alameda County will be placed on the Oakland side of the Fourth Bore.
The $402 million project to add a fourth bore north of the Caldecott Tunnel's existing three bores is intended relieve congestion.
"Reaching out to the students enabled us to engage a segment of the community that hadn't otherwise been involved in the tunnel," Caltrans spokeswoman Ivy Morrison said.
"They're the ones who are going to be the future users of the tunnel, so they'll be able to drive through it with their kids and their grandkids ... and say we played a part of the design," she said.
The competition drew more than 300 entries from elementary, middle and high school students in Contra Costa and Alameda counties, according to Morrison.
A Contra Costa County judging panel selected the three winning designs for the Orinda side of the tunnel, by local students Penelope Watson, 13, of Pleasant Hill Middle School; Daniell McCann, 16, of Acalanes High School in Lafayette; and 8-year-old Chaya Tong, of Spring Hill Elementary in Lafayette.
McCann, Watson, Tang and 37 students whose designs were selected for honorable mentions will be recognized tonight at a 6 p.m. ceremony at the Contra Costa Transportation Authority offices at 2999 Oak Road in Walnut Creek.
A similar ceremony will be held for the Alameda County winners during the Alameda County Transportation Commission meeting in Oakland on Oct. 25.
That county's top three winning medallion designs come from 11-year-old Aoife Gorshow; Nuala Gorshow, 8; and 10-year-old Elina Bartholomew Couts.
Caltans officials expect the Forth Bore to open to traffic in late 2013.
A photographic exhibit of construction work on the Fourth Bore is on display at Pleasant Hill City Hall through October.