The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Thursday, 19 December 2013 13:46cat

Bay Bridge Fix Complete

Written by  TheStructuralEngineer.info
Part of the permanent fix for the Bay Bridge being installed Part of the permanent fix for the Bay Bridge being installed Bay Bridge Info

The $25 million fix for the broken rods on the Bay Bridge’s east span was finally finished last week.  After only being in place for two weeks in March, 32 of the 96 galvanized steel rods used to hold down large seismic stabilizers on the east span snapped.  Caltrans determined the failure was caused by hydrogen that was able to penetrate the rods when they were standing in hydrogen rain-rich rainwater over a five-year period. 

Retrofitting the bridge was originally supposed to cost $10 million but quickly surpassed that figure due to the unique nature of the fix.  Caltrans originally defended the use of galvanized steel even though it is susceptible to corrosion. Caltrans is currently testing over 2000 samples of other high strength rods to determine if any other members need to be replaced.  They admitted that they should not have used galvanized steel to construct the bridge, but believe many of the members are still okay.  Others, however, believe that Caltrans cannot be trusted and an independent review needs to take place.  The new East Span of the Bay Bridge opened on September 2nd of this year. 

Sources: SF Gate

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