Richmond Tunnel to open after major repairs

This Friday cars, bikes and people will once again zoom through a tunnel that acts as the main road to Miller Knox Regional Shoreline and the Point Richmond community.

The 101-year-old Dornan Drive Tunnel closed 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 two 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.

“The tunnel is really important. I can’t tell you how thrilled we are about the re-opening,” said Mary Lou, a Brickyard Cove resident that was affected by the closure.

One Comment

  1. Kim Desenberg

    I went by the tunnel this morning and it was not open. Do you know what time today this will open?
    Is there any ceremony planned?
    I live in Brickyard Cove, and our neighbors will be delighted to have the tunnel open again. I am sure the reduced traffic going through the small and winding streets on the Point Richmond hill will be a great benefit for those residents as well.
    Kim Desenberg

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