Skip to comments.Bay Bridge reopens (FINALLY !!)
Posted on 11/02/2009 10:49:36 AM PST by Zetman
The Bay Bridge reopened just after 9 a.m. today, six days after a repair job on a cracked structural beam on the eastern span fell apart and plunged onto the upper deck.
Tests conducted overnight and this morning on an altered version of that repair job showed that the fix was holding, Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said.
At 9:01 a.m., a fleet of five California Highway Patrol cars escorted the first private vehicles allowed onto the westbound upper deck since the span was shut down Tuesday evening.
About 10 minutes later, the lower deck reopened for traffic heading to the East Bay.
"We're happy to be returning the Bay Bridge to public service," Ney said.
(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...
Several photos are also available with the article.
They really need more govt unionized workers doing nothing in CALTRANS. Maybe the lib idiots in CA will wake up but I doubt it.
Whatever happened to the “new” Bay Bridge being built beside the old one.
Is it still under construction or did they abandon the idea when cost overruns started?
I heard it was due to inferior steel from China.
I don't know if that's true, but it wouldn't surprise me. My mind just went blank as to all the problems with goods from China in the past several years. Melamine in dog food...
With all the work that had been done, I can’t imagine them abandoning the effort. “To big to fail”, comes to mind.
After scrap/salvage merchants took what parts they wanted from the clunker cars, the remainder was ground up - and shipped to China - so they can make stuff and send it back to us!
Construction of the new span continues. The new bridge is currently scheduled to open in 2013.
Construction was delayed for an extended period while they fought about what kind of bridge to build. The State of California wanted to build just a "simple" side-by-side concrete causeway to replace the old iron girder eastern span that famously collapsed in the 1989 earth quake.
However, the City of San Francisco, and surrounding communities, complained that they wanted to have a more fancy "signature" span, to compliment their skyline. They wanted a new high-tech single-pillar suspension bridge, so that it will look cool. The single-pillar suspension bridge will also cost a LOT more, something on the order of an additional billion dollars.
The State of California fought it (and the folks in Southern California complained that they did not want to have to pay to build San Francisco's extra-fancy bridge). However, in the end, the Bay Area politico's prevailed, and it was agreed that the fancy bridge will be built instead of the plain bridge.
Construction resumed after all of the fighting subsided. Of course, during the time that construction was shut down for arguing, all of the Chinese-made concrete and steel went up in cost, and several hundred million dollars was added to the budget as a result.
In the end, when the replacement span opens in 2013, it will probably be one of the most expensive bridges in the USA. I LOVE California!!!
Vastly more transportation funds go to SoCal. The Bay Area has gone begging for decades. Of course, they spend most of what they do get on wasteful mass transit.
For god sake, every vehicle going West bound on the bridge pays $4. That should be more than adequate to rebuild the bridge.
Five bucks says that it will be closed again for similar reasons within the year.
I am not going to take that bet, as I fear that you are probably correct. The area of the bridge that had the problems this past week is also the part of the bridge that will be replaced by the new span. So the State of California is probably hoping that the current bridge will hold out until 2013: "Come on baby!! Just 4 more years, then you can do what ever you want!!".
The part that failed last week was actually an emergency repair that was itself put in place just 7 weeks ago, over the Labor Day weekend. So they were quite shocked when their repair gave way after such a short period of time, sending 5 tons of steel onto the roadway below. Thankfully, no one was hurt. That is why the bridge was closed for six days this time. After they made the second repair, they got everyone, including the Federal Highway Administration, to come in and inspect it. Hence, when this all falls down again, at least those below it will know that it was carefully inspected beforehand. I think that is what is important here. They have good intentions.
KSFO was musing this morning that the $7.8 Billion price tag for the new HALF of the Bay Bridge, which is 4 years behind schedule and 20 years behind reality, is but the second largest construction project. Didn’t hear if they mentioned number 1, but my money’s on Boston’s “Big Pig”, which has done diddly-squat to help the traffic from what I can tell in my trips there recently.
I have a sneaky suspicion that the next problem will be a deck or span collapse... People will wish they’d had a 5 ton chunk fall instead. :(
“For god sake, every vehicle going West bound on the bridge pays $4. That should be more than adequate to rebuild the bridge.”
Not only that, but that money has been getting put away for DECADES for just this reason.
A few years back, they tried to sneak a bond issue past the voters here to soak us for the new Bay Bridge. One of the few that failed, and rightly so. Why should we pay for something that pretty much only benefits the Bay Area (the same folks who are busily screwing the rest of the state on a fairly continuous basis)
Remember the longest (in something or other) bridge that the French built a few years ago in something like 18 months?
In a similar story (and there are many similar stories across the country), a new supermarket opened recently in the city of Berkeley, California, after, as I understand it, a 5 year fight.
Well, I hate to be on one of those Bay bridges in a 7.5 plus earthquake. I think those bridges has not been retrofitted.
It wasn’t a cracked beam, it was an eye-pinned tensor rod that probably got damaged in the ‘89 quake.
The supposed repair of that tensor failed due to poor design. Actually, the tensor itself has not failed, and even if it did, there are three others there to take up the load. IOW, the repair is mostly BS.
Too stupid to succeed comes right after that.
The old bridge could have been refitted for less than 1/20 of the cost, but Oakland felt slighted because you couldn't have an unobstructed view of the dumps from the old bridge.
The new design is very questionable at best. The concept of a 'self-anchoring' suspension in bay mud is absurd.
can you imagine these fat bureaucrats who normally go home at 3:30 and haven’t worked on friday in years “working “on that old bridge?? What a knee slapping joke.
Whoever wrote that description is a fairly good guesser, but not likely an engineer. - His suggestion of a connection between a rod and a cable by crimping is pure fabtasy.
I noticed that one of the commentors at the end had the same reaction that I initially did: Why didn’t they simply re-fab a pair of new eye-bars? It couldn’t have been any more time consuming than the method that they chose, and the plans for the bridge are in the flat files at the office building on the bridge approach.
I suspect that the main reason for the crack is that the bars were not carrying a uniform load. I don’t buy into the idea that the crack was caused by corrosion which was due to lack of paint.
I have no faith in that repair.
The Bay Bridge section collapse killed one person. The other 46 were on the 880 freeway in Oakland in the same 89 quake.It was a 2 level concrete elevated freeway where the upper deck pancaked onto the lower one.
Happened to read this as I live in the area (going on the bridge today). The new suspension segment is not anchored in mud. They went down to bedrock. That's the reason they couldn't put it on the south side of the present bridge.
The anchors for the current cantilever section are in mud. They couldn't find bedrock and drove 90 foot wood poles (trees) down in the mud for anchorage.
“So, San Francisco should be back to “normal” by this afternoon.”
Define normal. On second thought, please don’t when “normal” is used with Gay Frisco.
Gee Mr brilliant, why don’t you read a bit further.
You’ll find that the bedrock is only providing vertical support, due to its considerable depth, and the lateral stability is still dependent on the bay mud.
Do you understand anything?
Both of us have a strong pull from the get-go to go the direction you mentioned. I will have to admit to thinking the old bridge was problematic. I believe the recent winds closed that bridge for a few days due to a blown down cable and cable assembly.
Does the new bridge facilitate an increased volume of flow?
If you think nothing justifies the new bridge at this point, what would you do with the three quarters of it that already exists?
I’m not an engineer. Perhaps you’ve read more details about the old bridge than I have, and are certain it could have lasted another fifty years or so.
If that’s the case, I can see why you’re not in favor of this.
The new bridge will not change the capacity, since the western link is still the original suspension span.
The arguments against the old truss bridge are all disingenuous. The unions are the driving force behind the new eastern span. We’re stuck with it now, until an earthquake dumps it in the mud.
Are both of those double laned strips going to be east-bound?
That’s interesting. If that’s true, what a joke.
We’re talking about the bay bridge, so I assumed you were talking about the Nimitz Freeway collapse which killed about 45 in the same quake in post 16.
Sorry, but you should ahve made it clearer.
The new part is side by side instead of two decks vertically. When it gets to treasure Island in the middle it has to transition to one above the other , since the other half and the tunnel is that way.
Rode about a lane from the repairs this morning on the way into SF.
Editor-Surveyor believes the earth is the center of the universe, appendicitis can be cured without drugs or surgery and that high BP is caused by taking the medicine to keep it low.
Do you live in the area?
Actually I was talking about the cable that came down last week, not the section that collapsed during the earthquake years ago.
Yes I’ve seen pictures of the new section. It looks good too.
The History Channel had a one hour presentation showing how this was being built. It was quite impressive.