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Date of Copyright
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. At the time of the earthquake Ken Hallis, was an Associate Bridge Engineer at Richmond, CA. He was on loan from Caltrans District 2 in Redding and had little experience with the Bay Area. When the earthquake happened he still was at work, at his desk on the computer and he looked out the window and noticed a Pacific Bell telephone truck with its wheels off the ground and that’s when he told his coworkers to get underneath their desks as he watched the floor of their building move. After the shaking stopped, Hallis went to Safeway to grab a sandwich, because his office didn’t have a radio. While he was at Safeway, he heard about the Bay Bridge collapse and he saw smoke in the Oakland area. He then arrived back at the office and heard about the 880 collapse and used his radio to contact Sacramento Structures Maintenance, to offer his assistance. After the conversation, Hallis and Rob Salaber went an inspected the Carquinez and the Richmond-San Rafael Bridges that night. On the eighteenth, he came to work, reported what he had seen and then was asked to go to the Cypress structure and erect shoring. Hallis had to design the shoring and supervise the crews. Hallis describes what it was like to work with the contractors, media, and first responders at the Cypress. His crews used hoe-rams to remove the railings on the lower deck of the Cypress structure so the army could inspect to see if there were any vehicles. He describes the earthquake damage that he saw at the Cypress as well. California Audiovisual Preservation Project
Original Audio cassette
1 Tape of 1
Earthquakes--California--Loma Prieta Loma Prieta Earthquake, Calif., 1989
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.