Caltrans officials will be grilled about the Bay Bridge’s deadly S-curve and recent eyebar repairs during a joint state senate hearing scheduled Jan. 12 in Sacramento.
The hearing was scheduled last month by three lawmakers to discuss the falling of steel pieces from a recent repair to a cracked eyebar – which is a load-bearing rod – onto traffic on Oct. 27, which led to a nearly weeklong bridge closure.
The repairs were initially installed over Labor Day weekend, when the bridge was closed to allow Caltrans to replace a piece of roadway that connects the Bay Bridge with Yerba Buena Island.
The roadwork related to a multibillion-dollar effort to construct a replacement span between Oakland and the island.
But that piece of roadway, called an S-curve, has proven to be accident prone, with the sudden dog-leg and its reduced speed limit baffling Bay Bridge commuters.
A 56 year-old Hayward man was killed Nov. 9 when his truck flew off the s-curve and fell onto Yerba Buena Island, helping to prompt the senators to add the S-curve as an item of discussion during the hearing.
“Now we feel there are more questions to be asked and answers to be retrieved,” said Senator Mark Leno, Chairman of the Select Committee on Bay Area Transportation and one of three lawmakers who were called for the hearing.
Independent engineering experts will also be invited to provide testimony, according to Leno.
A separate full-day hearing next year might be scheduled to focus on cost-overruns and delays to the effort to replace the eastern span of the Bay Bridge, which was damaged 20 years ago by an earthquake.