WJE Hired to Assess Damage Caused By Interstate 5 Tunnel Fire

October 14, 2007
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) retained Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. to support their assessment of damaged concrete elements caused by the I-5 tunnel fire just north of Los Angeles on October 12, 2007.

The 31-vehicle pileup in the southbound truck tunnel of Interstate 5 began shortly before 11 p.m. Friday when two big rigs collided on the rain-slicked highway, causing three fatalities and at least 10 injuries. The fire caused the shutdown of Interstate 5, California's main north-south highway.

As a result, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency. Once Los Angeles County officials extinguished the fire, WJE engineers began investigating various elements of the tunnel.

WJE has extensive knowledge and skill in conducting investigations following similar major disasters. Additional WJE experience includes the investigation of the I-580 connector ramp collapse caused by a tanker truck explosion; emergency response and stabilization services following fire damage to the historic 45-story LaSalle Bank Building in downtown Chicago; structural evaluation services for the Meridian Plaza fire in Philadelphia, one of the most significant high-rise fires in US history; and investigative services following the MacFrugal Inc. warehouse fire in New Orleans, causing $65 million in damages.

Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) is an interdisciplinary firm providing practical, innovative, and technically sound solutions to structural, architectural, and materials problems. Since 1956, WJE has successfully completed investigative, testing, and repair projects involving virtually every type of construction material, structural system, and architectural component.

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