New Problems on New Bay Bridge Span - NBC Bay Area

New Problems on New Bay Bridge Span



    (Published Thursday, May 2, 2013)

    More problems have emerged on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

    The Metropolitan Transportation Commission confirms it is fixing 20 welds on the bridge. The welds are at the base of the suspension tower -- in an area that controls the movement of the four tower legs.

    U.C. Berkeley professor of bridge engineering Hassan Astaneh says the bad welds may compromise the seismic safety of the new span.

    Astaneh says, "The welds are important in seismic event because they keep the legs of tower together so they move together. It's like a table, if legs are moving in different directions it's not good."

    In a statement a spokesperson the MTC. says,  "There are millions of welds on the bridge, and this issue involved about 20 of them.

    This is not a safety problem, and these welds do not affect structural stability. We have consulted with top industry experts, and are we on top of the problem. This is not an unusual issue, and this will not affect the schedule for opening the bridge."

    But the welds aren't the other issue affecting seismic safety on the bridge. Engineers are already working on a fix for steel rods that are snapping. Drivers we talked to hope engineers take their time and open a new bridge that will stay standing after a large earthquake.