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  1. #1
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Default Bay Area Residents Face Tough Commutes (after freeway collapse)

    By MARCUS WOHLSEN (Associated Press Writer)
    From Associated Press
    April 30, 2007 6:26 AM EDT

    OAKLAND, Calif. - San Francisco Bay area residents faced nightmarish commutes Monday after one of the region's most traveled sections of freeway melted and collapsed following a fiery crash.

    An elevated section of highway that carries motorists from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to a number of freeways was destroyed early Sunday after heat from an overturned gasoline truck caused part of one overpass to crumple onto another.

    "I've never seen anything like it," said Officer Trent Cross of the California Highway Patrol. "I'm looking at this thinking, 'Wow, no one died' - that's amazing. It's just very fortunate."

    Authorities predicted the crash would cause the worst disruption for Bay Area commuters since a 1989 earthquake damaged the Bay Bridge itself. The sight of a soaring freeway twisted into a fractured mass of steel and concrete was reminiscent of the damage from the Loma Prieta quake.

    Standing near the wreckage Sunday night, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed that the state would respond quickly to the damage.

    Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency to speed up cleanup and rebuilding efforts. He also authorized free transit Monday on ferries, buses and the rail system that takes commuters across the bay.

    Transportation officials said it could take months to repair the damaged interchanges, and advised motorists to use public transportation in and out of San Francisco. They added trains to the rail system and said drivers who chose to take alternate routes Monday would still face tough commutes.

    "People are going to have to find a different way to work and back home in the evening, so we are asking them to plan ahead and do their homework," said Jeff Weiss, spokesman for the California Department of Transportation. "This isn't going to be fixed in a matter of days."

    Nearly 75,000 vehicles used the portion of the road every day. But because the accident occurred where three highways converge, authorities said it could cause commuting problems for hundreds of thousands of people. State transportation officials said 280,000 commuters take the Bay Bridge into San Francisco each day.

    Though heat from the fire was intense enough to weaken the freeway and damage a 250-foot stretch of highway, the truck's driver walked away from the scene with second-degree burns.

    James Mosqueda, 51, of Woodland, went to a gas station and called a taxi, which took him to a hospital, Cross said.

    A preliminary investigation indicated Mosqueda may have been speeding on the curving road, he said. Mosqueda was being treated in a hospital for burns on Sunday; efforts to reach him there were unsuccessful.

    He was headed from a refinery in Benicia to a gas station near the Oakland airport when the accident occurred, according to the patrol.

    The crash occurred around 3:45 a.m. on the MacArthur Maze, a network of ramps and interchanges at the edge of downtown Oakland and about a half-mile from the Bay Bridge toll plaza. Witnesses reported flames rising up to 200 feet into the air.

    Heat exceeded 2,750 degrees and caused the steel beams holding up the interchange from eastbound I-80 to eastbound Interstate 580 above to buckle and bolts holding the structure together to melt, leading to the collapse, California Department of Transportation director Will Kempton said.

    The cost of the repairs would likely run into the tens of millions of dollars, and the state was seeking federal disaster aid, Kempton said.

    Officials said the accident could have been deadly had it occurred at a busier time.

    San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the accident showed how fragile the Bay Area's transportation network is, whether to an earthquake or terrorist attack.

    "It's another giant wake-up call," Newsom said.


    But how could this happen? We all know burning fuel cannot melt steel! Must be another Bush conspiracy!

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk ZeoBandit's Avatar
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    My fiance's sister lives out there. She called us last night to say that she will not be able to get to her boyfriends house anymore, because she takes this freeway.

    That will royally mess with traffic out there! I feel sorry for everyone who is going to sit in the traffic jams.
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  3. #3
    carpe damn diem billy007's Avatar
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    Well, I wouldn't go that far - there are other ways for her to get across the bay if she really wants to (just not during rush hour!). Still, can't imagine what a mess this makes of traffic in the area, not just the immediate area of the collapse, but I would imagine further down the bay as people take those alternate routes and add to the heavy traffic that already exists at crossings in Hayward and Fremont.

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk smithjc's Avatar
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    08.04.17 @ 11:33 PM
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    Yeah there are always the streets to get to westbound I-80 but it would take a helluva long time to get there! The south bay crossings are crowded enough. I used to drive on that freeway a lot when I lived in Tracy and used to visit my dad on the weekends.

    Those poor people. As if the daily commute wasn't bad enough.
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  5. #5
    Hang 'Em High RRMB's Avatar
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    05.21.17 @ 06:42 PM
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    I hope this trucker loses his CDL over this. Entirely too many of these fuckin idiots out there that think they can drive like this. Then to leave the scene to call a taxi to go to the hospital. Right there he's getting a a "leaving the scene of a property damage accident" which is a major No-No in trucking. He also left the scene of a HazMat load spill, failed to warn others of the accident OR report it in a timely manner. I'm also willing to bet that fatigue played a MAJOR part of this.

    In trucking; the only reason to not report an accident your in is due to your death or unconsiousness. Idiots like this are the reason why truck drivers are looked at in a bad light. As far as the Bay Area drivers are concerned int was a trucker that caused this, so ALL truckers are bad. That's the kind of pigeon hole attitude most drivers have. This also means that the CalDOT is going to crack down BIG TIME on us.
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  6. #6
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    10.22.17 @ 08:55 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy007 View Post

    But how could this happen? We all know burning fuel cannot melt steel! Must be another Bush conspiracy!
    I've been waiting for someone to bring this up.......

    The gasoline in this fire was burning at 2,750 degrees. That IS a temperature hot enough to weaken and melt steel, and so it did. The jet fuel in the WTC never came close to this temperature, and the majority of it, especially in the second tower, actually burned off outside the building.

    Furthermore, the problem with the SF bridge supports is that they were pure steel. They had a similar fire underneath an overpass in Seattle a few years ago, but because that support structure was encased in concrete, it didn't melt. And the WTC steel was also covered in concrete.

    Which means this SF freeway disaster actually makes the BCE "official story" of 9-11 look even more suspicious.
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  7. #7
    Atomic Punk FORD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeoHalen View Post
    My fiance's sister lives out there. She called us last night to say that she will not be able to get to her boyfriends house anymore, because she takes this freeway.

    That will royally mess with traffic out there! I feel sorry for everyone who is going to sit in the traffic jams.
    Guess she'll have to take the BART. Supposedly they're adding more trains to deal with the expected increase in capacity.
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  8. #8
    Baluchitherium steve mcqueen's Avatar
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    BART is offering free rides today and has added extra trains but it will still be a mess....the Bay Area is not known for it's public tranportation systems...and BART is always a crap shoot even under normal cicumstances

    also where the accident happened affects traffic more coming out of the city more than going in....

    this is a major thing out here....past history on this sort of thing (judging by the way Caltrans has responded in the past) says that traffic will be fucked up for the unforseeable future,

    Good thing,for me anyway, that I don't commute in and out of The City

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk
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    05.31.14 @ 08:17 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrockinmonkeyboy View Post
    I hope this trucker loses his CDL over this. Entirely too many of these fuckin idiots out there that think they can drive like this. Then to leave the scene to call a taxi to go to the hospital. Right there he's getting a a "leaving the scene of a property damage accident" which is a major No-No in trucking. He also left the scene of a HazMat load spill, failed to warn others of the accident OR report it in a timely manner. I'm also willing to bet that fatigue played a MAJOR part of this.

    In trucking; the only reason to not report an accident your in is due to your death or unconsiousness. Idiots like this are the reason why truck drivers are looked at in a bad light. As far as the Bay Area drivers are concerned int was a trucker that caused this, so ALL truckers are bad. That's the kind of pigeon hole attitude most drivers have. This also means that the CalDOT is going to crack down BIG TIME on us.
    The trucker didn't "Call a cab", he stumbled off of the freeway and flagged down a cabbie who was getting gas. The driver's hands and face were still smoking, essentually the guy was in shock.

    He'd been driving only eight months and was mumbling in the back seat of the cab that he was quitting driving. His hands and face were burned.

    Don't get me wrong, this driver fucked up and I think he's going to get what he deserves. It's just that he wasn't Mr. Casual after the crash, calling a cab and then calmly leaving the scene.
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