Well, our freeway collapsed again.
"What freeway?" you ask. "You mean the one the collapsed in the 1989 earthquake?"
Yes, it's the same MacArthur Maze, the complex of freeways where Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, and all the traffic from the East and South Bay area come to a head. ~300,000 people pass through here every day.
Not only that!— It's almost the exact same spot where twelve years ago an uncannily similar incident happened, as reported by blogger Cathy Gellis: On a early morning Sunday, a gas tanker carrying thousands of gallons of fuel exploded on the 880/80/580 interchange, turning into a giant fireball that incinerated the vehicle completely.
And that's what happened this morning too. Only this time, the freeway melted.
Why is this road made out of SWISS CHEESE?
This is the most heavily trafficked, volatile freeway intersection in all of Northern California. After a life-changing earthquake and virtually the same incident blowing up in 1995, don't you think someone should put away the silly putty and think about what it takes to build a reliable freeway interchange?
It's hard for a spectacular disaster like this not to incite darker thoughts. I was disgusted to see that some of the local media were quick to remark that that so far, this wasn't considered a "terrorist incident." OH FUCK OFF.
Of course this wasn't "terrorism"— this is the cost of of living in America today. Basic public services, be they schools, hospitals, freeways, food safety, etc. are all blown to smithereens because our government is so Caligula-esque in their corruption, so lax, so disdainful of what happens to "the little people," that you cannot depend on anything to work, run, or operate in a remotely reliable fashion.
Every time we need a dollar for something that millions of people need, "the numbers don't work." Yeah, it's a HECKUVA job all over again.
Here's a commenter named MadOak on Batey's blog who explains the details rather succintly:
As for why the tanker blew up, that doesn't need explained. As soon as I read that it was I.80 going to I.580/Hayward it was obvious. That is the most insanely stupid highway interchange in the entire country.
When I came here nine years ago, I was like, "What do CA Highway Engineers smoke?"
One highway splitting into three major important highways at a single point? —With improperly canted ramps randomly suspended like spaghetti? —With ramps that split themselves down the middle?
It's a complete menace, unsafe at any speed. A major earthquake could hardly make it worse. Why is I.80 always backed up past Berkeley? —That interchange, right there.
Exploding tankers are engineering's way of putting a litte arrow on the place where a highway engineer was a moron.
And for those of you actually trying to GET somewhere:
EB 80 to EB 580 closed (coming from SF over the Bay Bridge headed to the East Bay)
WB 80 to SB 880 closed (coming from Berkeley headed to anything south of Emeryville)
NB 880 to EB 80 closed (coming from South Bay to Berkeley)
*take local streets thru Emeryville to get back on 80*
WB 80 to EB 580 OPEN (Berkeley to East Bay)
WB 580 to WB 80 OPEN (East Bay to San Francisco)
NB 880 to WB 80 OPEN (South Bay to San Francisco)
NB 880 to EB 580 OPEN (South Bay to East Bay)