Bay Bridge closed after debris falls on roadway
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge remained closed Thursday as crews worked to repair the structure after pieces of the bridge fell onto the roadway Tuesday night. The incident comes nearly two months after the discovery of a crack in the bridge structure nearly delayed its reopening after a Labor Day weekend closing for major refurbishment.
A crossbar and two rods came loose from an eyebar Tuesday afternoon, according to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and on Thursday engineers and inspectors were still trying to determine the amount of time that would be needed to repair the bridge. It was a crack in an eyebar that led to the concerns in September, but it was unclear if the two incidents were directly related. “We are deeply sympathetic to all of the vehicles that were delayed yesterday when this issue happened with the eyebar repair failure,” Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney told reporters on Thursday. Ney also urged commuters to plan alternative routes.
Caltrans had closed the bridge Labor Day weekend 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. Work crews discovered the cracked eyebar on the Sunday of that weekend, and crews worked overtime to repair the bridge for the planned reopening on the following Tuesday. “The crews worked non-stop for almost 70 hours and were able to complete the repair work on the damaged eyebar beam,” Caltrans Director Randy Iwasaki said at a press conference announcing the bridge’s reopening.