China Steel Problems Could Delay Bridge Opening

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Sep 10, 2009  |  Updated 9:00 AM PDT
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China Steel Problems Could Delay Bridge Opening

AP

In a photo provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Bridge is seen empty on Saturday, Sept. 5, over the San Francisco Bay, Calif. The bridge is closed through Labor Day weekend as part of an ongoing project to construct a new Eastern span.

Just two days after a giving itself a huge pat on the back for getting the Bay Bridge open for the Tuesday commute, Caltrans is giving new red flags about the project completion date.

The single anchor suspension bridge is supposed to be open to traffic in 2013. 

On Wednesday Caltrans said issues with steel deliveries from China has put them a year behind in the process of fabrication.

Andrew Fremier, deputy executive director of the Bay Area Toll Authority, told the Chronicle that he is very concerned about the progress. 

The first shipment from China was supposed to arrive last October, but still isn't here because there is a problem with the welds.

Several more shipments are scheduled to arrive next month.
   
Project managers flew to Shanghai earlier this summer to check on the beems and found continuing problems with the welds.  Caltrans says the pieces will not ship until they meet all specs.

There is also the potential of cost overruns, but those details have not been released.

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