Bay Bridge, Bridges, Freeways

Bay Bridge Update: Crack Discovered During Inspection

UPDATE (6 September 2009): The repair work for the eyebar crack is underway.

Construction work on the Bay Bridge east span proceeded according to schedule today as construction crews carried out the impressive feat of swapping in a new section of roadway for the Bay Bridge east span, sliding into place a 3600-ton double-decker section of the detour, which will curve the path of the bridge just south of the old alignment. The closure of the bridge presented an excellent opportunity to carry out an inspection, as had also been done when the bridge was last closed in 2007. That inspection revealed a cracked eyebar on a separate section of the east span, pictured below:

Courtesy of Caltrans/BayBridgeInfo.

Caltrans determined that the two-inch eyebar was cracked through about halfway, and declared the problem to be “significant enough to have closed the bridge on its own.” Crews are now undergoing emergency repair of the crack, and the bridge will not be reopen until both the repairs and the planned detour construction are complete. While the planned work at Yerba Buena Island is on schedule to be completed by the planning reopening time (5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 8), also finishing the emergency repairs on the crack by Tuesday would be a “monumental effort,” and thus may require postponing the reopening beyond Tuesday. It’s not yet clear when the bridge will be reopened; in the meantime, ongoing updates are being posted on



10 thoughts on “Bay Bridge Update: Crack Discovered During Inspection

  1. I am totally not a structural engineer, so take this with a grain of salt… But as I understand it, the superstructure over a cantilever bridge is called ‘super’ not for its overall awesomeness and taste in fashionable dress and music, but rather because it’s really *super* important in its role in the not-falling-down-ness of a bridge like this.

    Awesome that they found this, and may the inspectors find all such situations. We already know our current span isn’t the safest in a major quake; this is a big find in ensuring what we have is as safe as it can be while the replacement is finalized.

    Posted by Chuck | 6 September 2009, 12:17 am
  2. Is it at all possible that this crack that was “discovered” actually occured as the result of the current construction that is taking place right now. I recall reports of the structure “groaning and moaning” as the old section was pulled out. Could this be the cause of the crack?

    I merely ask this question b/c I have not seen a response yet. Just hope that it can be fixed and that the bridge is still safe!

    Posted by Cait | 6 September 2009, 1:22 am
  3. This newly-discovered crack in the Bay Bridge can be compared to the ongoing construction of a better California. With all of the after-the-fact surprises we’ve endured in California over the years, it’s reassuring to see such close inspection of each of the new bridge’s stages. God bless our builders and inspectors!

    Posted by Californiality | 6 September 2009, 7:57 am
  4. This crack is very unlikely to be related to current work – it appears to be a stress crack that is due to age. But remember, the original Bay Bridge was “designed to last 1000 years” (they stopped mentioning that after Lome Preita, lol). No wonder it’s falling apart ~80 years later – what else could one expect from the horrifically incompetent CALTRANS “workers”.

    The general public would be shocked to learn of the “quality” of the people working for CALTRANS and the monumental screw ups that never get reported – only dregs and the otherwise unemployable go to work there – and they stay until the die – it’s an incompetent hide bound bureaucracy from top to bottom with civil service rules that even those deemed incompetent by CALTRANS standards (never been a bar set lower) can’t get fired.

    Posted by Works with Caltrans | 6 September 2009, 9:15 am
  5. Chuck,

    I know you were mostly being facetious, but the superstructure of a bridge is called that because “super” in latin refers to above.

    Posted by Chris | 6 September 2009, 7:27 pm
  6. “The general public would be shocked to learn of the “quality” of the people working for CALTRANS”

    Then by all means, still the beans already.

    Jesus, there are so many people like you who say, “YOU WOULD BE SHOCKED TO KNOW WHAT I KNOW!!!” Blow the whistle on them. Get a segment on the evening news. Be a man already. Christ.

    Posted by Spokker | 6 September 2009, 11:05 pm


  1. Pingback: Another Year, Another Bay Bridge Closure « Transbay Blog - 5 September 2009

  2. Pingback: Bay Bridge Update: Old Section of Roadway Removed, New Section Ready to Go In « Transbay Blog - 6 September 2009

  3. Pingback: Bay Bridge Update: New Section Inserted, Crack Repairs Underway « Transbay Blog - 6 September 2009

  4. Pingback: bay bridge | Latest News | Hot News | Recent News - 7 September 2009

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