Bay Bridge broken rods: Caltrans is investigating broken rods on the Bay Bridge that connects Oakland with San Francisco, and they might have to replace all the rods on the bridge.
Investigators with Caltrans are trying to ascertain why steel rods between 9 and 16 feet long snapped on the new eastern portion of the Bay Bridge that connects San Francisco and Oakland.
The Contra Costra Times reported that the rods, which connect the bridge deck to a concrete cap on a massive pier, snapped when they were tightened.
“Caltrans is diagnosing the problem and we are confident they will find a solution,” Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman Randy Rentschler told the paper on Tuesday. His office is looking over the new construction, which is costing the state around $6.4 billion.
Caltrans said that at least 30 of the tightened giant rods, or bolts, that hold the bridge together broke, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The agency said that the new bridge span is safe, but it said that it is considering replacing all 288 bolts on the new bridge before it opens.
Toll Bridge Program Manager Tony Anziano told the Chronicle that he is “pretty confident” the problem was caused by shoddy rods and not the bridge’s design.
“This isn’t exotic--this isn’t some wild issue,” Anziano was quoted as saying. He added, “It appears to be a type of materials problem--the presence of hydrogen in the metal,” which can make metal brittle.
Anziano downplayed the incident.
“I’d be very surprised if you didn’t look at any large structural project that used fasteners and didn’t have an issue like that. That’s why you have inspections,” he said, but added that there is no estimate of the cost to fix the problem.
The rods, which were made in Ohio, are part of the bridge’s seismic protection system, according to the Times.
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