Caltrans pump malfunction floods I-280


A technical malfunction at a Caltrans-operated pump house Thursday morning that caused three lanes of Interstate Highway 280 in San Jose to pool with water was different than one that caused flooding in the same area last week, according to a Caltrans spokesman.

On May 16, contractors turned two of the main pumps at the facility off in order to work on them and a backup pump on a separate flow system kicked in, Caltrans spokesman Victor Gauthier said. The backup pump was overloaded and a fuse blew, which left water over the road.

Once the fuse was replaced, the system was operational until Thursday morning.

Around 4:15 a.m., Caltrans workers found that a circuit breaker that the two main pumps ran off of had failed, Gauthier said. The backup pump failed as well after the main two were down.

Caltrans workers responded and the lanes near the state Highway 87 interchange were reopened within four hours.

Gauthier said Caltrans worked as quickly as they could to get the lanes open before commute time hit its peak.

He said the public has no need to worry about future incidents since a contractor is still out at the facility this afternoon and the pumps will be monitored and worked on over the holiday weekend.

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