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Race to rebuild road


CONTRACTORS are racing to rebuild a collapsed elevated section of motorway in California this week to win massive cash incentives if completed early or face enormous fines if late.

Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger announced there would be a $200,000 a day incentive for completing early and a ú100,473 a day fine for running late.

US contractor CC Myers has untill 27 June to complete the $867,075 project after being awarded the work as the lowest bidder on Monday.

The 230m section of the Interstate 580 slip road ? part of the MacArthur Maze junction, serving the Bay Bridge ? collapsed on 29 April after a petrol tanker carrying some 32,500l of fuel crashed and ignited on the Interstate 880, the road passing underneath the I580.

The fire that ensued weakened the steel beams of the I580 leading to a total failure of two 115m spans. The beams were simply supported on concrete piers and not connected to adjacent beams ? a measure that was recommended following the 1989 earthquake.

California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) director Will Kempton said: 'Caltrans promised the public a swift response to the MacArthur Maze collapse, and we are delivering.' Schwarzenegger said: 'No time will be wasted in restoring this vital artery to the Bay Area. Construction crews will continue around the clock repairs.' Up to $20M was released for the project, but Caltrans anticipates the cost will be below that figure.

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