Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site




Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Caltrans Defends Bay Bridge Steel Quality

Friday, September 1, 2017

More items for Quality Control
More items from North America

Comment | More

As the final structural work on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge eastern span is finished and the demolition of the old span’s last remaining piers commences, officials are addressing concerns about the quality of the steel used in the new bridge’s construction.

According to local reports, California Department of Transportation chief engineer Brian Maroney told reporters Tuesday (Aug. 29) that he was not concerned about tests of some discarded scraps that showed yield strengths far lower than those associated with 50 grade steel, which was required for the job.

Bay Bridge eastern span
Dllu, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The $6.4 billion Bay Bridge eastern span replacement opened in 2013, but has been subject to structural repairs in the years since.

“It’s to be expected,” he told the San Jose Mercury-News. “The inside may have a lower yield strength, but it’s just as strong in ultimate strength.”

The pieces of steel that were tested were reportedly from poorly welded plates, and Maroney said the scraps were tested close to the welds, where the heat may have affected the yield strength in a limited area. Maroney also told reporters that other testing had confirmed previously that the steel used on the project was of the proper quality.

New Bridge, Repeated Repairs

The $6.4 billion Bay Bridge project was nominally complete in 2013, when the span opened to traffic, but structural repairs continued for years thereafter, adding millions of dollars to the overall cost of the job.

Months before the bridge was opened, more than 30 of the anchor rods were found to have broken. In early 2014, an inspection found hundreds of leaks in a supposedly watertight steel chamber supporting the bridge's suspension span. And in 2015, concerns were raised about corrosion risks on the bridge’s main suspension cable.

Last week, Caltrans announced that the implosion of the final remaining piers of the old Bay Bridge eastern span will take place over a series of weekends in September and October.

The old eastern span of the Bay Bridge was replaced due to concerns about its safety under earthquake conditions; part of the span infamously collapsed during 1989’s Loma Prieta earthquake, killing one driver. While the western span—a suspension bridge reaching from San Francisco to Yerba Buena—was retrofitted for seismic durability, Caltrans determined that the eastern span should simply be replaced.


Tagged categories: Bridges; Quality control; Steel

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Fischer Technology Inc.
DUALSCOPE®FMP100 with DataCenter IP
Transfer customized inspection plans from PC to FMP100 using step-by-step guidance with prompts and pictures throughout the measurement procedure

KTA-Tator, Inc. - Corporate Office
KTA-Tator Training Course Opportunities
• IACET Authorized Continuing Education Unit (CEU) Provider
• Live Basic Coatings Inspection Courses
• Customized/Private Courses
• Online/self-paced curriculums
Contact: Tiffany Kelly at 412-788-1300 x217

DeFelsko Corporation
PosiTector SST Soluble Salt Tester
Measures the concentration of soluble salts on metal surfaces. Use with all Bresle patch types including the reusable, adhesive-free PosiPatch.

SAFE Systems, Inc.
Custom blast rooms
by SAFE Systems
Don't waste time and money "making do" with a "standard" design. Let us work with you to design and build the system that best fits your requirements.
Call 1-800-634-7278

HoldTight Solutions Inc.
Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Introducing the ALPHA1 Blasting Robot
Once installed and commissioned – simply

Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
Blastox® - One Step Lead Abatement
Sandblast additive delivered to jobsite pre-blended to eliminate hazardous abrasive wastes. Why mix, meter or apply at the job-site? Blast with ease and
Let your painters paint!

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC
A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
Join SSPC and Enhance
Your Career !

Graco Inc.
Graco EcoQuip 2: Experience the Difference
While others claim their equipment is the same, none of them compare to Graco’s EcoQuip 2™ Vapor Abrasive® blasting line. Visit to learn more.


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us