Take two: Bay Bridge repair withstanding strong wind gusts

Enhanced repairs to a cracked Bay Bridge support beam withstood strong weekend wind gusts.

The Bay Bridge was closed in late October after massive steel pieces, which were installed during Labor Day weekend to patch a cracked eyebar, rained down on rush-hour traffic.

Caltrans had failed to design the fix to withstand wind gusts, and the bridge was closed for nearly a week as the state transportation agency redesigned and reinstalled the repair.

The enhanced design appears to be withstanding strong winds.

Gusts of up to 25 knots were recorded at an Oakland-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather monitoring station Oct. 27, when the original repair failed.

Wind gusts exceeding 30 knots were recorded Nov. 20 and on Saturday afternoon at the same weather station, which is located near the Bay Bridge. The California Highway Patrol issued a high-wind advisory for the bridge and three others Saturday.

Wind gusts exceeding 30 knots also were recorded in the weeks leading up to the Oct. 27 incident, which may have weakened the repair and led to vibration-related metal fatigue.

“The repair has shown no signs of fatigue in wind,” Caltrans spokesman Mark DeSio said Sunday.

Caltrans is currently designing a permanent fix that might be based on successful repairs to a similar Carquinez Bridge span.

jupton@sfexaminer.com

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