For the next month, Pleasant Hill City Hall will exhibit a series of photographs taken of the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Project. The photographs, taken by Karl Nielson of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and John Huseby of Caltrans will be displayed prominently in City Hall’s main lobby area.
The photographs present rare views of tunnel work, which started in August, 2010, and also includes portraits of some of the project’s many unsung heroes. One photo depicts the “brass board” – a vestige of traditional mining projects – where miners “brass in” each time they enter the tunnel. This practice would help rescue crews know if there are miners working in the tunnel in the event of an emergency.
Another photograph depicts the breakthrough, which occurred when the top portion of the east and west sides of the tunnel met late last year, when giant tunneling equipment broke through the last remaining wall and there was literally “light at the end of the tunnel.”
The public is welcome to view the photographs during regular hours at Pleasant Hill City Hall, which is located at 100 Gregory Lane, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523. City Hall is open Monday – Wednesday, from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm, Thursday, from 8:30 am - 6:00 pm, and Friday from 8:30 am - 1:00 pm.
When it opens to traffic in early 2014, the Fourth Bore will relieve traffic congestion in the off-peak direction along this heavily travelled section of State Route 24 by permanently dedicating two bores to westbound traffic and two to eastbound traffic. The total bid amount was $390 million, but the total construction bid was $215 million project, one of the largest recipients of Recovery Act funding in the nation – a true testament to the regional importance of this project. The total length of the tunnel is 3,248 feet.
The Caldecott Fourth Bore Project represents a partnership between the Federal Highway Administration, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, and the Alameda County Transportation Commission to build a two-lane fourth tunnel bore north of the existing three Caldecott tunnels.