Testimony: "Dozens" of Experts Approved Failed Bay Bridge Steel

Many different people signed off on using the steel that broke

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge has over 2,000 components made from a form of galvanized steel that's proven brittle.

    A plethora of engineers and other "experts" approved the use of steel bolts on the new Bay Bridge that snapped when they were tightened, according to state Senate testimony.

    Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty was called to account for his agency's approval of the galvanized steel rods which proved faulty -- and he "pointed to a list of teams" that led him to believe that the bolts were safe, according to the Contra Costa Times.

    "The decision.... was reviewed by material testing engineers, corrosion experts, consultants and the engineers of record at T.Y. Lin and Moffatt Nichol," Dougherty said in Sacramento.

    The full list of experts, engineers and other double-checkers who approved the use of the faulty steel could "fill an auditorium."

    The bridge, a $6.4 billion project over a decade in the making, is scheduled to open Sept. 3 but there are serious doubts over the opening day in light of the rod scandal.

    Thirty-two of 96 "anchor rods" -- three inches in diameter and up to 24 feet long -- broke on a "massive pier" east of the east span's new main tower.

    The bridge's tower, which is featured on the Golden State Warriors' uniforms, is already a local icon.

    Engineers say hydrogen present in the steel caused the rods to become brittle and snap.

    Up to 2,306 fasteners meant to steady the bridge during an earthquake were made with the steel in question.