Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Few Screws Loose on Achy-Breaky Bay Bridge
Townhall.com ^ | May 19 2013 | Debra J. Saunders

Posted on 05/19/2013 10:21:02 AM PDT by Kaslin

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Gov. Jerry Brown recently stepped in it when a reporter asked him about the Bay Bridge. In March, 32 of 96 key rods in the under-construction eastern span cracked after they were tightened. Dao Guv -- who, as Oakland's mayor, helped delay construction of the new span to win a tony, world-class design -- gave the wrong answer: "(Scatological stuff) happens."

The state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee held a hearing Tuesday to find out how such stuff happens. State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, wants to know. As a member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in 1998, DeSaulnier voted for a "self-anchored suspension" bridge design. It was supposed to be "aspirational." The price tag was supposed to be $1.1 billion.

Now it's $6.4 billion, cracked rods and all. Worse, DeSaulnier told reporters before the hearing, "I haven't heard one thing close to an apology."

To the contrary, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty told the committee that the state did not set limits on the hardness of steel for the rods, and it turns out that could be the reason builders installed what Dougherty referred to as a bad "batch" of bolts. "It was," he asserted, "a decision that was made eyes wide-open."

No rods have broken since the original 32 cracked and the rest of that batch was de-tensioned. If there were only one bad batch, that would be good news because it would mean the other rods -- more than 2,000 of them -- are not defective.

What next? Engineers seem to favor constructing "steel saddles" around the bad rods -- at a cost (for now, anyway) of $5 million to $10 million. Also, builders are using dehumidifiers to prevent embrittlement from hydrogen, an element of water. On the San Francisco Bay, it seems, there is water, water everywhere.

Engineers have loosened other rods -- which makes you wonder why they were so tight to begin with. Is there a problem with looser rods? Who knows? As Metropolitan Transportation Commissioner (and San Francisco Supervisor) David Campos observed, "they keep saying there are standards, but you can deviate from the standards."

So now Californians are supposed to trust the guys who ignored federal standards established to avoid "brittle failure" and failed to issue maximum hardness standards for rods. And Californians are supposed to accept that state officials installed a bad batch of rods in 2008 only to find out that rods weren't up to the job in 2013, when it was too late to replace them. But they'll fix it this time, right? They're the experts.

With no hard questions answered, no definitive explanation of what went wrong and no apologies extended, DeSaulnier ended the hearing wondering whether the Bay Area Toll Authority still plans on holding its $5.6 million Labor Day weekend opening party for the bridge. After all, what self-respecting politician would have the brass to show up and take credit for a dubious bridge built sixfold over budget?

The MTC's Steve Heminger answered, "I think we need to retrofit the east pier and may need to retrofit the celebration, too." Sage advice.

One other thing: If the experts decide it's safe to open the new span, perhaps they should rename it Titanic.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; US: California
KEYWORDS: baybridge; jerrybrown; sanfrancisco

1 posted on 05/19/2013 10:21:02 AM PDT by Kaslin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
After all, what self-respecting politician would have the brass to show up and take credit for a dubious bridge built sixfold over budget?

Wasn't Boston's "Big Dig" tenfold over budget? Original quote, $2 billion, final bill, $20+ billion?

2 posted on 05/19/2013 10:26:16 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: DuncanWaring

Bid low to get the job... make it up on the back end.


3 posted on 05/19/2013 10:29:19 AM PDT by ken in texas (I respect my elders but keep finding fewer of them.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

a bunch of dead Roman engineers are laughing in their tombs at this fiasco..


4 posted on 05/19/2013 10:31:48 AM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

The biggest problem with America’s Crumbling Infrastructure (copyright AP, 2000) is that government can no longer be trusted to fix it.


5 posted on 05/19/2013 10:32:18 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ken in texas

You don’t realize how true that is. I am in the nuclear business and thereis one company that specializes in low bidding and making it up on the end.


6 posted on 05/19/2013 10:37:01 AM PDT by Tees Mom (Nuclear girl)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

7 posted on 05/19/2013 10:43:20 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: FReepers
Democrat Useful Idiots


Click The Pic To Donate

Support Common Sense, Donate To FR

8 posted on 05/19/2013 10:48:55 AM PDT by DJ MacWoW (My faith and politics cannot be separated)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NormsRevenge

These clowns shouldn’t be trusted with an Erector Set.


9 posted on 05/19/2013 10:54:50 AM PDT by Lurker (Violence is rarely the answer. But when it is it is the only answer.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Lurker

I guess using plans for the GGB built in the 30’s was too good for them, so they decided to come up with some hair brained CAD ones. Bolts which cannot handle tension swings and are hydrogen sensitive in an area prone to shakers, what could go wrong??


10 posted on 05/19/2013 11:13:12 AM PDT by Mouton (108th MI Group.....68-71)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

But the bridge is pretty. Isn’t that what counts?


11 posted on 05/19/2013 11:16:23 AM PDT by informavoracious (We're being "punished" with Stanley Ann's baby. Obamacare: shovel-ready healthcare.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

It’s just a warm up for High Speed Rail, brought to you by La Familia Pelosi Construction Company, LLC.


12 posted on 05/19/2013 11:25:07 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (Doing the same thing and expecting different results is called software engineering.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin
Lebenhauer Enterprises???
13 posted on 05/19/2013 12:27:56 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

It is obviously BUSH’s FAULT!


14 posted on 05/19/2013 12:37:10 PM PDT by SES1066 (Government is NOT the reason for my existence but it is the road to our ruin!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cicero

Tear down a 1.6 billion dollar v. A 6.2 billion dollar bridge?

Hmmm... who knows?

Talk about your bridge to nowhere...

public safety first :-)


15 posted on 05/19/2013 1:05:47 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Mouton
I guess using plans for the GGB built in the 30’s was too good for them, so they decided to come up with some hair brained CAD ones. Bolts which cannot handle tension swings and are hydrogen sensitive in an area prone to shakers, what could go wrong??

The old Bay bridge was hit by a jet aircraft, and survived without problems. That's how good they built them in the 1930's. These new bolts snapped under a minor load.

16 posted on 05/19/2013 1:18:39 PM PDT by roadcat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: roadcat

I did not know about the aircraft accident. I do know the old Key railway used to operate on the lower deck though.


17 posted on 05/19/2013 1:24:21 PM PDT by Mouton (108th MI Group.....68-71)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Mouton

I remember that accident in 1968. The Navy jet just took off from Alameda Naval Air Station, where my dad worked. It hit about 15 feet above the upper roadbed in the trusses of the north span of the bridge, yes the section now being replace by the new bridge. Both of the two pilots died.


18 posted on 05/19/2013 1:34:17 PM PDT by roadcat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Lonesome in Massachussets
It’s just a warm up for High Speed Rail, brought to you by La Familia Pelosi Construction Company, LLC.

Nope, that's Feinstein's gig.

19 posted on 05/19/2013 4:51:14 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (An economy is not a zero-sum game, but politics usually is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: SES1066
It is obviously BUSH’s FAULT!

Nope, it's Arnold's. Grovelnator Schwarzenkaiser stopped the whole project, costing hundreds of millions because of the delay, pulled the plans out of Bechtel's capable hands without compensation for 35,000 engineering hours, and handed the whole job to his buddy Warren Buffet's buddy from Utah, Peter Kiewitt.

20 posted on 05/19/2013 4:54:50 PM PDT by Carry_Okie (An economy is not a zero-sum game, but politics usually is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Kaslin

Amazing. Did the original Bay Bridge builders have this many problems? How long did it take them to build it? How much did it cost?


21 posted on 05/19/2013 5:27:24 PM PDT by hattend (Firearms and ammunition...the only growing industries under the Obama regime.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Chode
That's run by the Russian Mafia, isn't it?
22 posted on 05/19/2013 6:05:19 PM PDT by upcountryhorseman (An old fashioned conservative)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: upcountryhorseman
Zec Chilovek... CEO
23 posted on 05/19/2013 6:13:16 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Carry_Okie
Nope, it's Arnold's. Grovelnator Schwarzenkaiser stopped the whole project, costing hundreds of millions because of the delay, pulled the plans out of Bechtel's capable hands without compensation for 35,000 engineering hours, and handed the whole job to his buddy Warren Buffet's buddy from Utah, Peter Kiewitt.

This is most interesting.

Is this common/public knowledge?

.

24 posted on 05/19/2013 10:38:07 PM PDT by Seaplaner (Never give in. Never give in. Never...except to convictions of honour and good sense. W. Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Seaplaner
Is this common/public knowledge?

Absolutely not. This has been a matter of long study for me. Usually it takes digging through records to put it together. In fact, the reporter (Richard Trainor) from whom I learned the big names in how Sustainable Development really works was harassed, physically beaten, and black-listed.

The filthy relationships between big developers and the State are legion in California. Catellus is particularly bad (CalPers money controlled by Richard Blum), but Kaufmann and Broad aren't far behind. These big buck projects are a bonanza of using public pension money and control of the news media for stock manipulation. So when the Bay Bridge project came up and went through these otherwise unexplainable shuffles, I knew what to look for.

25 posted on 05/20/2013 5:52:02 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (An economy is not a zero-sum game, but politics usually is.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson