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Loma Prieta Oral History of Gale Ogawa
Loma Prieta Oral History Project
Horiuchi, Carol Lynne
Ogawa, Gale
Date Created and/or Issued
Contributing Institution
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
California Revealed from California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
Rights Information
Copyrighted. Rights are owned by California Department of Transportation. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owner. In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
In the wake of the October 17, 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, Caltrans commissioned an oral history project to document the personal and professional experiences of Caltrans employees who worked to restore the State's damaged transportation system. When this interview of Gale Ogawa was conducted she was the Emergency Planner for Caltrans Division of Maintenance in Sacramento on special assignment to the Director's Office. After the earthquake her role was to be the liaison person with Caltrans and the Office of Emergency Services for the coordinating of transportation for the statewide response efforts. Ogawa also worked on obtaining Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) authorizations that were needed for non-highway work. For example, the Office of Emergency Services had to get FEMA authorization to start Ferry service on the San Francisco Bay and for the parking facilities needed to support those operations. For two weeks the Office of Emergency Services was a twenty-four hour operation, and on the day of the earthquake Ogawa worked for twenty-six hours. She worked in shifts at the State Operations Center along with two other Caltrans employees. Another project she worked on was coordinating with the CHP at the State Operations Center to have steel girders from Texas to the Bay Bridge in two and a half days to meet deadline. The CHP provided escort for the truck drivers from Texas to the Bridge and to get clearances for night driving in certain states. Ogawa discusses how she felt much of the work that Caltrans had done was not recognized by the press and offers some suggestions of what could be done differently in the future.
Audio cassette
Oral histories
1 Tape of 1
Loma Prieta Earthquake, Calif., 1989
California. Department of Transportation
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
California Revealed is supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

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