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.

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.

Fischer Technology Inc.
Paired with the PHASCOPE PMP10, Fischer’s new probe is quick and accurate for measuring thermally sprayed aluminum on stainless steel. Click to learn more.

Strategic Materials Inc.
Crushed Glass Abrasives
Competitively priced, high-performing crushed glass abrasive. Available today. Toll-free 1-866-775-6226

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Removing blasting operators from harmful environments is our key objective.

Abrasives Inc.
Discover the MAGIC.
Black Magic® coal slag. It’s consistent, cleaner, cuts better, less dust. Get it where you need it, when you need it. Abrasives Inc.

W Abrasives
Optimize your blasting process and operations!
Blasting is a complex process that goes above and beyond the simple question of the shot used, no matter how innovative and efficient it is. W Abrasives is there to help.

Termarust Technologies
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion
Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.

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

Safway Services
Your Access Advantage. QUIKDECK®
Provides safe, factory-floor-like working conditions. Can be engineered to fit almost any shape, structure or size. Modular platform easily assembled from just a few basic components. Excellent containment. Applications include vessels, offshore rigs and bridges.

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


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