Feds pay first $2M installment for Maze repairs

The MacArthur Maze collapse received a once-over from local and federal representatives Friday, who announced that $2 million in federal funds was immediately available for repairs.

The collapse costs the Bay Area economy $4 million to $6 million per day, and the $2 million was the “first installment of many other funds” from the Federal Highway Administration Emergency Relief Fund to reimburse the state’s Department of Transportation, said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Mary Peters.

Early Sunday, a tanker traveling on the connector between eastbound I-80 and southbound I-880 slammed into a guardrail, causing 8,600 gallons of gasoline to burst into flames.

The intensity of the fire caused 750 feet of the elevated eastbound I-580 overpass above to slam down on the southbound I-880 connector.

The I-880 connector is expected to open by May 12, but crews need to brace the road before hydraulic jacks are brought to lift the sunken road.



If repairs are completed within 180 days of the incident, the state is eligible to recoup all of its expenditures from the Emergency Relief Fund.

Thursday, Caltrans announced it was authorized to spend $20 million to fix the I-580 connector. Officials expect that number to drop when the contract is awarded Monday.

That contract will contain a $200,000-a-day incentive if the contractor finishes before 50 calendar days from May 8 and a $200,000-a-day disincentive if the contractor finishes after that time period.

Peters walked the site with Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and House Democrats Jim Oberstar, of Minnesota; Barbara Lee, of Oakland; andEllen Tauscher, of Walnut Creek. Boxer said she was working with Peters to secure funding to alleviate some of the costs to the transit agencies incurred when they added train cars, boats and trips.

dsmith@examiner.com  

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