Acting Director Bob Franzoia reflects on how Caltrans has made the state's transportation system safer based in part on lessons learned from four major earthquakes between 1971 and 1994, including Loma Prieta.
In late October 1989, a handful of Caltrans employees set out to interview as many colleagues as possible about their earthquake experiences. We present a few of the livelier excerpts.
Loma Prieta Earthquake Basics
When: 5:04 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 1989
What: Magnitude 6.9 on the Richter scale
Where: Epicenter was about 10 miles northeast of Santa Cruz in the Santa Cruz Mountains
Human toll: 63 deaths and 3,757 injuries
Damage: Estimated at $6 billion
Caltrans’ biggest post-quake challenges: The collapsed Cypress Street Viaduct in Oakland, a collapsed 50-foot section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and the heavily damaged State Route 17 between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz
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The Cypress Street Viaduct, part of Interstate 880, mostly collapsed between 16th Street and the MacArthur Maze in Oakland as a result of the Oct. 17, 1989, Loma Prieta earthquake. (All photographs are from Caltrans archives) See the full gallery.