Flickr user Eugene Kim

The latest news of possible problems on the new Bay Bridge? Steel rods anchoring the 6.5 billion dollar span have shifted and might threaten its stability in the case of an earthquake.

This is just the most recent in a laundry list of problems on the bridge. In recent months, Caltrans has come under fire for faulty welds, failed rods, and leaky decks. Jaxon Van Derbeken, an award-winning reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, has reported extensively on the Bay Bridge. He sat down with KALW’s Ben Trefny.

Experts raise concern about Bay Bridge rods

Dec 9, 2013
Isabel Angell

Two Bay Area engineers have released a scathing report about the official analysis of the broken rods on the Bay Bridge, Charles Piller of the Sacramento Bee reports.

The Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee conducted the analysis after 32 key seismic rods broke on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge back in March.

photo by Isabel Angell

The old eastern span of the Bay Bridge stands empty. Its job is done. Now it’s time for it to come down, and the man overseeing the demolition is Bill Howe, senior engineer with Caltrans.

Isabel Angell

The story of the new Bay Bridge really begins in 1989, with the Loma Prieta earthquake. A lot of things collapsed -- including a section of the bridge’s eastern span. California officials realized they needed to do something drastic to protect during the next inevitable quake.

“They talked about renovating the existing bridge and that was going to cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” says William Ibbs.

A "quick fix" might open Bay Bridge by Labor Day

Jul 22, 2013

After all that, the Bay Bridge could open on Labor Day after all. That’s if a new solution – being called the “quick fix”– is approved to temporarily stabilize the structure’s broken bolts.

Bay Bridge Labor Day opening delayed

Jul 8, 2013

The Bay Bridge opening has been delayed until at least December, the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee announced Monday. The brand-new eastern span of the bridge, which connects Oakland to San Francisco, was supposed to open this Labor Day. Back in March, bolts that hold together a key seismic structure snapped, throwing the opening date into question.

Transit officials said they needed to investigate why the bolts broke and develop a solution to ensure the bridge is seismically sound.

California officials say they have a plan to stabilize bolts that failed earlier this year on the eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

Mary Rees

Last fall, I went  to Fifth and King Streets in  San Francisco, just under the on-ramp to I-280. A group of tents inhabited the space then. The ground around the tents was swept, and bicycles stood in neat lines. Residents, such as Jessica Prater, knew one another and felt safe there.