Thursday, November 15, 2007

I-5 Tunnel Reopens

Gov. Schwarzenegger Announces the Early Reopening of I-5 at Newhall Pass
Repair Work Completed More than Two Weeks Early

Just in time for holiday travelers, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger today announced today's early reopening of the southbound Golden State Freeway (I-5) Newhall Pass truck lanes and tunnel. The tunnel will officially reopen at 5 pm tonight. The tunnel has been closed since Oct. 12, when a 31-vehicle pile-up ignited a devastating fire inside it, temporarily closing I-5 in both directions.

"Keeping people and goods moving across our state is vital to our economy, so I am proud to announce the opening of this tunnel for the thousands of motorists who depend on I-5," said Governor Schwarzenegger. "I want to thank motorists for their patience during this emergency. I commend Caltrans Director Will Kempton, his entire team and the contractor for working around-the-clock to get this project done ahead of time."

Caltrans awarded a contract for the repair work to Security Paving of Oxnard on Oct. 29. The repairs were completed 15 days before the earliest projected opening date.

The contract included an incentive/disincentive clause to encourage early completion. The contractor will earn a $2.9 million bonus for completing the $11 million project by or before Nov. 15. As a disincentive, if the contractor failed to complete repairs within 33 days, the contractor would have owed the State $150,000 per day for each day of uncompleted work over 33 days plus liquidated damages.

Earlier this year, the Governor announced the reopening of the San Francisco Bay Area's MacArthur Maze when repairs were completed 26 days after a gasoline tanker carrying 8,600 gallons of fuel overturned and caught fire, closing both the southbound I-880 and the eastbound I-580 connector.