San Mateo Bridge Repairs Complete

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    Good news for people who use the San Mateo Bridge.  Caltrans crews completed its construction work on the bridge early Sunday morning.  All lanes have reopened after inspectors identified a structural flaw Thursday.

    During a routine inspection, Caltrans engineers identified a crack  in a wishbone-shaped steel beam located beneath the affected lane and  immediately closed the lane.

    The affected beam was originally installed as part of a seismic  retrofit completed in 2001 that allows for the bridge to move back and forth  during an earthquake, according to Caltrans.

    Engineers quickly set to work on a repair design, which called for  several high-strength steel plates to be bolted in place over the cracked  section.

    Over the weekend, Caltrans engineers regularly reviewed progress  and designed additional repairs to maximize the beam's strength -- four  plates were originally called for, but officials decided Friday to add at  least one more.

    Although the redesign required more time, Caltrans said the  benefit of long-term safety for drivers outweighed the short-term  inconvenience of the lane closure.

    Crews worked to complete repairs ahead of a football showdown  scheduled for 1:05 p.m. today at Candlestick Park in San Francisco pitting  the San Francisco 49ers against the Oakland Raiders.

     The lane was reopened at 3:19 a.m.

    Caltrans said engineers will continue to monitor the repaired beam  section, and additional off-peak lane closure may be required to ensure safe  use of the lane.

    Bay City News