Note: Hiss and noise as on original tape.
Additional Title: Caltrans Earthquake History of Jim Claypool
Series Title: Loma Prieta Oral History Project
Description: 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.
This recording is the Oral earthquake history of Jim Claypool, who was a retired Caltrans Senior Maintenance Engineer at the time of the Loma Prieta Earthquake on October 17, 1989. He was at home in Walnut Creek and it reminded him of the Sylmar earthquake which he experienced eighteen years earlier. After the earthquake, he turned on the TV and saw the damage to the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge and was in disbelief at what he saw. After the shock of the event wore off, and after contacting his family in San Diego to let them know he was ok, he contacted Caltrans Maintenance Station in Walnut Creek. Just before the earthquake, Claypool had been called back to work at Caltrans for the Maintenance Department and he was in the process of updating the Catastrophic Emergency Response Plans, making the District 4 plan conform to the Statewide plan. A few weeks before the earthquake he held classes at the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge with the Caltrans regional managers, seniors, Traffic Department and Construction Department. In the class, it was explained how the Office of Emergency Services and SETCO and how it interrelates to the plan, and then the region managers for the eleven regions in District 4 were asked to develop their own emergency plans. One of the things that had been decided was that Maintenance workers were asked to go to the nearest Maintenance Station in a disaster event situation. At the Walnut Creek Maintenance Station, Claypool recorded the name of the people who had shown up, and contacted the bridge engineer at the Carquinez Bridge, who inspected that bridge and the Benicia Bridges. He also contacted Burch Batchold the District Director to update him on the activities in Walnut Creek. Once it was decided that there were enough managers at the Walnut Creek location, Claypool went to Sacramento to assist with the Office of Emergency Services. Some of the activities he did while he was there were Claypool had a phone conversation with the governorâ€™s aide about the Nimitz Freeway and the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge; writing a report for the governor about what had been done and what Caltrans planned to do in the next eight hours, and coordinating the visit of Vice President Qualye and Secretary of Transportation Skinner. Claypool also spent two days in Santa Cruz assisting with the Highway 17 clean-up efforts. Afterwards he worked as an assistant to Bob McDougald, and issuing bridge passes for the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.
Rights: 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.
Digitized by the California Audiovisual Preservation Project (CAVPP).
Interviewer: Bush, James Interviewee: Claypool, Jim
Transportation Library and History Center, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), 1120 N Street, Room 1430 (MS-45), Sacramento, CA 95814, Telephone: (916) 654-4601, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org