Crack nearly keeps Bay Bridge closed past Labor Day
After a long weekend of major refurbishment, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopened on Tuesday despite concerns that a crack in the bridge structure that work crews discovered Sunday would keep the bridge closed until Wednesday. “Thanks to exceptional teamwork and dedication, the Bay Bridge will be reopening this morning,” California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Director Randy Iwasaki said at a Tuesday morning press conference.
Iwasaki was not expecting the good news at a Monday afternoon press conference. “The not so good news is, unfortunately, during the process of inspecting the structure … we had a development that arose: We found a crack in an eyebar,” Iwasaki said. “That portion of the work is not going to get done by 5 a.m. Tuesday.” At that time, Iwasaki said Caltrans expected to have the work finished by 5 a.m. Wednesday, when tens of thousands of commuters would cross the bridge on their way to work.
But, crews worked through the night to repair the crack in time to fully reopen the bridge by 7 a.m. Tuesday. “The crews worked non-stop for almost 70 hours and were able to complete the repair work on the damaged eyebar beam,” Iwasaki said Tuesday.
Caltrans had closed the bridge to install a temporary half-mile detour connecting the East Span to the Yerba Buena Island tunnel as part of the Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Projects, designed to bring the structure up to current earthquake standards. The work involved cutting out a 300-foot section of the original East Span 150 feet above the island and sliding in a new, double-deck section to connect the bridge to the detour.
View more information on the Bay Bridge project.