Shifting Steel Rods Could Pose Bay Bridge Earthquake Danger: Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Authorities discover a new defect on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge. Christie Smith reports. (Published Friday, May 16, 2014)

    Shifting steel rods are the latest problem on the new Bay Bridge.

    Steel rods that anchor the Bay Bridge eastern span's main cable have shifted since they were installed, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, and are now too close to sharp-edged plates inside the new bridge.

    Caltrans acknowledged the rod issue could take months and millions of dollars to fix.

    There have been many problems found on the Bay Bridge, including problems with galvanized rods and bolts that didn't fit right and were in danger of cracking.

    Officials told the Chronicle that crews will first try to loosen the nuts on the rods and re-center the huge fasteners. If that isn't possible, workers will have to somehow widen the openings in 2-inch-thick steel plates to create more room for the rods to vibrate in a quake.

    Andrew Fremier, deputy director of the local agency overseeing the bridge project, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, told the newspaper he learned about the problem just this month. He said his agency wants to know why Caltrans did not include the off-center rods on a list of pending maintenance issues with the new bridge that the state turned over to the oversight board May 6.

    He said the cost is expected to be at least $2 million and the repairs could take until the end of the year.