Caltrans: Bridge is safer this time

As crews prepared to open the Bay Bridge Monday, Caltrans assured motorists that the structure’s current fix is safer than its last.
On Tuesday, several steel repair parts fell onto bridge during peak traffic time, as strong winds cause vibrations that shake pieces loose. The parts had been put into place to fix a dangerous crack discovered Labor Day weekend in a load-bearing eyebar.

Caltrans blamed Tuesday’s break on wind, saying the vibrations wore the metal parts until they broke. On Monday, Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney assured motorists the problem had been eliminated.

“We’ve put in several enhancements to make sure the vibrations don’t cause fatigue again,” he said.

Caltrans has also made adjustments to ensure that if the eyebar fractures again, metal will not rain down on drivers.

 Crews placed stronger structural welds on the crossbar that came loose Tuesday, and wrapped the system in a cable.

“If something were to fail up there, it would be held in place,” Ney said. “This is a safer fix related to failure caused by possible fatigue.”

On Sunday evening, Caltrans officials had hinted that they would “look into other possibilities” to repair the bridge if the fix continued to fail stress tests. But on Monday, Ney said crews were able to make the repairs without changing course on the design.

“We are still confident this was the best design to fix the crack in the eyebar,” he said.

Monday morning, large trucks were lined up to rumble across the lower deck of the Bay Bridge, so engineers could test how the upper deck handled the vibrations. Visual inspections of the fix were underway, and crews were completing final supports in the damping system that will control vibrations during an earthquake.  

Unless problems are discovered during the final inspections, the bridge could open as early as late Monday morning. 

“We’re further then we’ve ever been before,” Ney said.

Meanwhile, BART continues to run longer trains after commuters shattered historic ridership records last week.

Caltrans will continue to monitor the repairs to the bridge. Daily lane closures during non-peak hours are likely, Ney said.

tbarak@sfexaminer.com
 

Bay Area NewsBay BridgeCaltransLocalTransittransportation

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

San Francisco Sheriff candidate Paul Miyamoto in a meeting with the Examiner editorial board on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New shelter-in-place order gives tenants a temporary reprieve from eviction

Sheriff’s Department resumed regular enforcement this week for the first time since March

Under stay-at-home orders effective today in San Francisco, outdoor dining is not allowed, and there are new limits regarding the number of people that can be indoors at essential businesses. <ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Bay Area counties to shut down outdoor dining, non-essential businesses

Regional stay-at-home order to take effect Sunday, sooner than statewide order announced Thursday

Former Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant received his 2017-18 Championship ring at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Oct. 16, 2018. Durant, now playing with the Brooklyn Nets, will play against his former team at Chase Center in February. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Kevin Durant to face former teammates at Chase Center in February

Schedule released Friday calls for Warriors to play Christmas and New Year’s Day games

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert’s (31) return from injury last week was key for the team’s offense. <ins>(Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
49ers fighting for final NFC wild-card spot in Monday’s game against the Bills

Bills at 49ers When: Monday, 5:15 p.m. Where: State Farm Stadium, Glendale,… Continue reading

The Smashing Pumpkins’ 2020 recording is the 20-song “CYR.” (Courtesy photo)
Billy Corgan continues to confound expectations

Smashing Pumpkins release retro-sounding ‘CYR’

Most Read