Bay Bridge committee OKs up to $4M to study latest problem

A panel overseeing a new $6.4 billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge approved spending up to $4 million to study the latest problems discovered with the structure.

The three-member Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee approved the funding Monday after an anchor rod in the bridge's tower failed a test and salt was found in other parts of the tower, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“We've got some reassurance that we need to provide people that they got the bridge that they paid for and the bridge is safe,” said Steve Heminger, chairman of the committee.

Toll-payer funds will be used to determine the extent of the problems.

“We're going to get to the bottom of it, and if there is a problem, we're going to fix it,” said Randy Rentschler, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which is headed by Heminger.

Rentschler said the bridge is safe for use.

The new bridge — intended to replace a span that was not considered earthquake-safe — has experienced other problems.

Thirty-two bolts that secure earthquake shock absorbers to the deck of the bridge cracked in 2013 after they were tightened, threatening to delay the opening of the span.

Tests found hydrogen had infected the bolts, making them brittle.

At issue now is salt that was found during recent testing in some of the sleeves that hold 25-foot-long steel rods at the base of the tower. One of the rods also moved easily during a test last week.

The rods are meant to keep the 525-foot-tall tower from heaving up and down in an earthquake, the Chronicle reported. If the rods are steeping in salt water, it could shorten their life span.

The bridge has also experienced rust-stained white paint and misaligned steel rods.

An investigative report requested by lawmakers last year found that officials who oversaw bridge construction from 2007 to 2011 repeatedly brushed off criticism about flawed welding, bolts and other engineering work.

The new span replaced one built in the 1930s that was damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Bay Area NewsBay BridgeSan FranciscoSF

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Basketball (Shutterstock)
SI alum Begovich gets his moment, but Stanford falls on Senior Day

MAPLES PAVILION — Generally speaking, Stanford’s home finale on Saturday afternoon, a… Continue reading

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, a former school board member, has been asked to help secure an agreement between the school district and teacher’s union. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
 <ins></ins>
Supervisor Walton tapped to mediate teacher contract talks

District and union at odds over hours in-person students should be in the classroom

California is set to receive supplies of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is still under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (Courtesy photo)
California could receive 380K doses of new J&J COVID vaccine next week

California could receive 380,300 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

Most Read