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.