Troubled Welds on the Bay Bridge: How mismanagement and an inexperienced contractor built a bridge whose stability in an earthquake is in question [more inside]
Following the long-awaited replacement, which opened in September, the original east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is due to be demolished. However, before that happens, the California Highway patrol, along with MADD is inviting family and friends of those who have lost their lives in traffic crashes to visit the decommissioned original span and pay their respects at the site where their loved ones died. CHP will accompany family and friends out to the now-empty bridge span on Saturday morning so that perhaps a little closure can be gained. [more inside]
In honor of the San Francisco Bay Bridge's 75th Anniversary, artist Leo Villareal's new work The Bay Lights will be officially lit this evening. It is installed on the West Span and consists of 25,000 custom-mounted LEDs, making it the largest light sculpture in the world. [more inside]
Video produced by the California Highway Patrol of the 7.1 1989 San Francisco Bay Area earthquake and the rescue attempts that followed. It focuses on the Bay Bridge and the Cypress collapse. This video has some intense footage, including much that I'd never seen of the rescue efforts. [more inside]
The San Francisco Bay Bridge has been shut down for the weekend to allow workers to roll a section of the old bridge away, and roll in a temporary section, while they build the new permanent bridge. Download the video here showing how they'll do it. [more inside]
Now that we may be renaming the rebuilt eastern span [pdf] of the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge after 19th century character (and sometime MeFi topic) Emperor Norton I, the question remains: when the time comes, what shall we name after his devoted widow? [cached last link]
Now there's a time but I say none like now: After the eastern cantilever span of the Oakland-Bay Bridge collapsed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, CalTrans engineers recommended replacing it with a cable-stayed bridge. The estimated cost was roughly 1 billion and would be completed in 2003--that is, until the Mayors Brown got involved. Then-SF-Mayor Willie Brown objected to the new design, saying the abutment at Yerba Buena island would interfere with his planned condominium development. Brown coaxed the Navy--who owned the land on which the foundation would be built--into preventing CalTrans from performing soil-engineering tests, saying the new bridge wasn't safe, making references to other bridge disasters, and interviewing engineers all over the Bay Area until he finally found one who agreed with him. Jerry Brown--former governor of California and current mayor of Oakland--voiced his opposition, calling the design a "bland viaduct" and proposing an international competition to design "a world-class bridge." When CalTrans told Brown his objections were a year late, he dug up an old Frank Lloyd Wright design and asked CalTrans, "Say, can we put trains on it, too?" The delays and design changes have increased the cost to over five billion, and its completion date is anyone's guess. According to Governor Schwartzenegger, this is the Bay Area's problem, not California's. (Fine then! Can we have our water back?) Fifteen years, two audits, and one angry architect later, the questions remain: how and by whom will this new bridge be funded, what will it look like, and will it be finished when the The Big One hits?