PICTURES: All Four Bores of the Caldecott Tunnel are Now Open – Drive Safely!

November 16, 2013 10:51 am · 15 comments

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The new westbound fourth bore of the Caldecott Tunnel in Orinda has officially opened to the public this morning, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The bore, which is expected to unclog off-peak traffic heading toward the tunnel, opened around 4:25 a.m., with CHP crews leading the first cars from Orinda to Oakland, the CHP said.

The new bore will create a smoother flow of traffic for the more than 160,000 people who travel through the Caldecott Tunnel each day by keeping four lanes of traffic open in each direction at all times, Caltrans officials said.

The additional tunnel will allow Caltrans to end its 50-year-old practice of manually reversing the flow of traffic twice per day using the middle bore.

Drivers heading in off-peak directions leading up to the tunnel, or east on weekday mornings and west during the evening rush hour, could shave an average of five minutes from their morning commute cut an average of 7 to 10 minutes from the westbound evening return trip, according to Caltrans.

Weekend travelers heading in off-peak directions will also have more predictable traffic approaching the tunnel thanks to the additional two lanes, Caltrans officials said.

The fourth bore is also outfitted with a number of safety upgrades, including wide shoulders, a series of powerful jet fans to blow smoke out of the tunnel in the event of a car mishap or fire and cross-passages connecting the third and fourth bores that serve as emergency exits.

The $417 million project was funded mostly by federal stimulus funding as well as through revenue from Measure J, a half-cent sales tax approved by Contra Costa County voters in 2004. Funding also came from Bay Area bridge toll revenue, and proposition 1B, a 2006 voter-approved state transportation bond.

The project received one of the greatest shares of funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and created more than 5,000 jobs, according to Caltrans.

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Special thanks to Jeannie Taylor-Clemmo for the top picture and Stefani Buzzard for the one on the bottom!

RELATED STORY: PHOTOS: Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony for the New Fourth Bore of the Caldecott Tunnel

1 J. November 16, 2013 at 10:54 AM

WooHoo!

2 Enfield303 November 16, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Pack the picnic basket Ma, we’re goin to the country to see the tunnel.

3 Felino November 16, 2013 at 11:02 AM

It’s great that they went with an Art Deco design to match the existing tunnels, otherwise it would just be another eye-*’soar’ of a tunnel.

4 ConstantReader November 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM

Yeah! We have to go in to SF today, this will be wonderful on the way! New bridge, new tunnel, new 49ers stadium (soon), life is looking up!

5 Chevrolet girl November 16, 2013 at 11:44 AM

@ Felino bahahaha!

6 Just One More Thing November 16, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Now if only they would put an Olive Garden in the tunnel!

7 cjk November 16, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Cool heading out! Can anyone tell me which way has two tunnels right now??? jk/ This will help so much on that horrible bottleneck. dang.

8 This is Great... November 16, 2013 at 12:21 PM

…but, we will still have to deal with the Selfish Peuking Maggots who insist on taking the Wilder “shortcut”. Wouldn’t it be nice if they put a “NO LEFT TURN” sign at the end of the ramp, and ENFORCED it..!!..I NEVER let them merge, but there’s alway some “citizen” ahead who thinks it’s their civic duty to allow these self-entitled morons to slide on in….

9 Attn: cjk November 16, 2013 at 12:47 PM

Both bores are going in your direction, but one requires FasTrak.

10 Slow Motion November 16, 2013 at 1:52 PM

This should solve the problem for the
next ten years, then it will be a bottleneck,
again. Then what?

11 Triple Canopy November 16, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I heard the tunnel contractor placed a troll somewhere in the 4th bore and it looks like Nancy Pelosi… that’s frickin’ scary!

12 Michelle November 16, 2013 at 2:31 PM

ok, TC :-) I hope its a nice one.

13 The4thBore November 16, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Test driving a new S/N The4thBore ©

14 EdiBirsan November 16, 2013 at 6:07 PM

Now for them to put some money and effort in getting the first two tunnels to look like something we can be proud of.

15 Ben Dover November 17, 2013 at 9:03 PM

Thank you Obama!
I sing your praises!

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