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.
Confronted by the Cypress structure collapse, Matt Harizal kept it together emotionally and did his job. However, ‘I just broke down crying when I got home. Those people had families, right?"
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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