Bay Bridge Repairs Still Not Complete

October 29, 2009 7:18:26 PM PDT
Caltrans hopes to complete their Bay Bridge repairs by 10 a.m. Friday, but testing will need to be completed before the bridge can reopen. The bridge has been shut down since Tuesday night after repairs to earlier repairs on Labor Day fell apart and damaged several vehicles.

Crews have installed four replacement rods, designed to reinforce a cracked eyebar. Each rod is 80 feet long and two inches in diameter. They will be seated in a steel saddle.

Unlike the original Labor Day fix, crews are taking additional measures to make sure the assembly does not fail again.

"We are isolating the tie bars, so they cannot vibrate and create friction that causes this metal fatigue and we have self-centered the nuts, so that the rod will stay in the middle and we won't have that type of binding happen again," Ney said.

Caltrans also expanded on the fact that, during their regular inspections of their original Labor Day repair, they did notice something was wrong prior to Tuesday's failure.

"In one of the latter ones, after the first windstorm we did identify that the rods were moving and we were in the process of designing this system already," Ney said.

With the failure and the bridge closure, Caltrans is losing massive toll revenues, as drivers turn to other bridges and other modes of transportation.

"It's not good on the revenue side, yesterday, with the Bay Bridge out of action, we estimate on the toll revenue side a loss of about $335,000," MTC spokesperson John Goodwin said.

"Caltrans is doing everything that it can to return the bridge back to a safe state. If that is not good enough for them, then the other thing that we are doing is we are bringing in third party groups to look at these things that we are doing -- to ensure that the industry believes that what we are doing is right," Ney said.

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