RICHMOND -- After months of repairs, a tunnel that serves as the main road to Miller Knox Regional Shoreline and the Point Richmond community will reopen to cars, bikes and pedestrians on Friday.
The 101-year-old Dornan Drive Tunnel closed in February after workers found cracks in the concrete lining of the tunnel's inner surface. Richmond's engineering staff, and a hired construction team, later discovered a room-sized void above the tunnel's concrete lining.
Workers probably failed to fill this gap during the original 1912 construction, said Melissa Tigbao, Richmond's project engineer for the tunnel repair. As a result, the tunnel lining was just 2 inches thick in areas, with no structural reinforcement.
"We had residents feeling inconvenienced due to the repairs. But safety is our number-one priority, it overrides everything," said Tigbao.
The city filled the 163-square-foot void with concrete grout and reinforced the structure with a 1-foot-thick concrete band wrapped above the tunnel's inner lining, said Tigbao.
The city financed this near million-dollar repair with grants from Caltrans and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.
This article was produced by RichmondConfidential.org, a nonprofit news service based in the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.