by Brian Leubitz
The bad bolts on the Bay Bridge now mean that the post Labor Day kickoff will be delayed for weeks, perhaps months:
The Bay Bridge’s broken bolts have busted the schedule, forcing the construction team to postpone for weeks or months the opening of the Bay Area’s new signature bridge while critics lambast the builders for missteps that contributed to the delay.
Citing a longer than expected timetable to retrofit the seismic stabilizers where key anchor rods snapped in March, the span will not open to traffic immediately the morning after Labor Day as planned. No new opening date has been set. (Lisa Vorderbrueggen / BANG)
Bay Area legislators are understandably quite miffed. The current eastern span of the bridge is seismically unstable, and will likely come crashing down in a rather devastating fashion if we have any sort of major earthquake. It certainly would have been nice to see that sort of risk eliminated as soon as possible, however, to ensure the longterm stability of the bridge, the delay probably makes sense. The new span is supposed to last 150 years, and cost untold billions to get this far. It would be almost silly to get anxious over a few months at this point.
However, that being said, the money is real, and the delays are real. And all should have been avoidable.
“Heads should roll,” said Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Mark DeSaulnier, D-“Concord. “It’s unconscionable that people have been exposed to so much risk of an earthquake on the old the bridge and paid so much for the new one. People need to be held accountable on these big projects.”
A new report highlighted some of the failures that kept piling upon each other to bring about the delay, but as Sen. DeSaulnier remarked, there is a little desire to find somebody to blame for the mess.