Emergency repairs to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge this fall will cost $21.5 million after critical parts on the span cracked and snapped, but Caltrans officials still can't explain the metal failures, legislators heard Wednesday.
California Department of Transportation Director Randell Iwasaki told Assembly budget committee members that until the state knows the cause of the October accident, bridge inspectors are checking key span parts every three months.
Normally, the federally mandated bridge inspections of those parts take place every two years, Iwasaki said.
The Bay Bridge was closed to the public for six days in late October and early November after a newly installed 100-foot-long steel rod snapped, pulling another chunk of steel and part of a 6,000-pound steel clamp down onto the road surface below in an evening rush hour.
That incident involved a cracked and temporarily repaired bridge eyebar that was previously spotted and fixed on Labor Day weekend. Three vehicles were damaged, but motorists suffered only minor injuries.
The closure forced thousands of Northern California commuters to use public transit or alternate travel routes and bridges. The drama also has reportedly unnerved some Bay Area drivers so much that they now shun the bridge, fearing more dangerous incidents.
The Labor Day repair cost $1.5 million; the second fix will cost at least $6 million. The permanent fix – under way and to be done in three weeks – will cost an estimated $14 million.
To read the complete article, visit www.sacbee.com.