The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Tuesday, 04 November 2014 11:20cat

Bay Bridge Deficit Expected

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The Bay Bridge project is likely facing a deficit of at least $35 million The Bay Bridge project is likely facing a deficit of at least $35 million Bay Bridge House

According to the latest projections, the new Bay Bridge eastern span will be completed $35 million over budget. Caltrans is shifting funds from other bride projects from around the state to make up the deficit. The new Bay Bridge eastern span connecting San Francisco and Oakland, California opened in September of last year.  Caltrans has been optimistic throughout the duration of the project that the completed bridge would cost less than the $6.4 billion price tag. That figure includes $900 million for cost over runs and contingencies. However, it is estimated that there is still $110 million of unfinished work left to complete the eastern span and Caltrans expects their original estimate of $100 million to tear down the old span to be lower than the actual cost. Taking into account the remaining work that needs to be done as well as cost overruns, Caltrans expects to have a $35 million deficit when the bridge is completed.

The Bay Area bridge toll payers are paying for most of the new bridge. Rather than increase tolls, Caltrans has decided to shift funds from other projects to fund the Bay Bridge project. According to the San Francisco Gate, authorities recently moved $45 million of unspent money from the completed Antioch and Dumbarton bridge seismic retrofit projects to increase the Bay Bridge’s reserve. Caltrans will likely need to shift more funds to the reserve as the $45 million would only leave $10 million for unexpected costs. 

The demolition of the old span is proving more costly than initially expected due to the state-protected cormorants and other birds that have built their nests on the bridge. Authorities must work with permiting agencies and wildlife agenicies to find a way to remove the birds and keep them away before demolition begins. Caltrans has not announced if they are going to transfer more money to the bridge's reserve fund. 

Sources: SF Gate

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