Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Tom Lantos Tunnels has design failures

After years of planning and substantial cost, in event of an event of an emergency, coastal Highway 1 Tom Lantos Tunnels has design failures: 1) no significant electrical power redundancy system, and 2) no coordinated driving route alternative around the tunnels.  The result is traffic chaos, which affects drivers (their lives and their families).

Image result for Tom Lantos Tunnels picture
Do you know the way to Half Moon Bay,
or back to Pacifica if the tunnel closes?
Then what happens if it's nighttime, bad weather, traffic.
San Mateo Daily Journal/Zachary Clark, Staff, 3/21/19,"Coastal traffic snafu spurs action, Officials re-examine protocol after hours of gridlock."
After simultaneous lane closures on Highway 1 and State Route 92 caused hours of gridlock around Half Moon Bay on March 12, officials are pushing for improved coordination among the relevant agencies to prevent such occurrences from happening again.
The debacle began when a power outage necessitated the closure of the Tom Lantos Tunnel on Highway 1 at about 4:30 p.m. that day because the fans inside could not operate. That forced many residents to return home via State Route 92 instead. But there was a lane closure on State Route 92 that evening due to pre-planned tree trimming so significant delays were unavoidable.
“It was absurd because the message should’ve been passed on from Caltrans to PG&E that you can’t close one lane of State Route 92 while Highway 1 is closed,” Mayor of Half Moon Bay, Harvey Rarback said. “It was a monumental screwup in communication. It took over four hours for some people to get home. One constituent had a baby in the backseat and had to deal with it the whole time.” The tunnel reopened at about 12:30 a.m. the next day after being closed for eight hours, and the tree-trimming work, carried out by Pacific Gas and Electric, spanned 7:30 p.m. to 6 a.m., said Caltrans spokesman Jeff Weiss.

Related articlePaifica Tribune print edition (pages 1 and 3), 3/20/19/Jane Northrop, Staff Writer, 3/20/19, "Traffic nightmare ensues after tunnel closure. Generators didn't last long and tree work on Highway 92 made it worse." "Electrical power is needed to operate the fans that run in case there's a fire so smoke can clear. ...   .... Why is there no emergency generator for the tunnels?  'That's not in line with the coastal design. We tried to keep the tunnels as unobtrusive as possible. We have a green roof on top of the operations center. To put a generator out there running on diesel is not in keeping with our design. We would have to test the generator multiple times per year', CalTrans spokesperson Jeff Weiss said."

Note photograph of Tom Lantos Tunnels by F R Childers Photography (one of several) from Flickriver.com.
Posted by Kathy Meeh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Commies strike again. A ha! When the going gets tough, blame "it didn't look pretty" They really want you dead.