Bay Bridge has been reopened

SAN FRANCISCO The bridge was originally scheduled to be closed for four days. Friday night, a segment of roadway the size of a football field was cut away and moved aside. On Saturday, a replacement segment was moved in to serve as a three to four-year detour. But as that was taking place, Caltrans found a 6-inch crack in a support beam that threatened the bridge's integrity.

But, Randy Iwasaki, director of the California Department of Transportation, said crews worked around the clock and were able to finish the repair work. He says the bridge has been inspected and deemed to safe to reopen.

Work on the cracked beam has not stopped since it was discovered Saturday. The crack in the eastern cantilever appeared some time since the last federally mandated inspection in 2007.

Steel saddles were fabricated in Arizona and delivered Sunday afternoon. Crews were working under very difficult conditions at 150 feet in the air in order to execute these repairs. Caltrans did build an entire extra day of pad time into its construction schedule to deal with surprises along the way.

Engineers say i-beams are prone to fracturing, and that the new Bay Bridge will not have any i-beams.


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