The first permanent section of the Bay Bridge's new self-anchored suspension span is being hoisted into place Wednesday.
The section weighs 1,020 tons and is nearly 84 feet long. It is being lifted onto the bridge's temporary support steel by a 400-by-100-foot shear-leg crane barge, which is the largest on the West Coast.
"This is history in the making," Ney said.
The section being put into place this week is one of eight sections that arrived recently from China, where they were manufactured.
Ney said additional deck and tower sections will arrive over the coming months, and that if all goes well, commuters will see significant progress on the new eastern span this year.
He said the span, now estimated to cost $6.3 billion, is expected to open to traffic in 2013.