Bay Bridge: Mayor Celebrates Opening of New Bridge Eastern Span
The new eastern span of the Bay Bridge opened on Monday night. The Bay Bridge has been undergoing a major seismic retrofit to be bring it up to current transportation standards. Following the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake, which damaged a section of the East Span, extensive studies were undertaken to determine whether the state’s largest bridges were seismically safe. As a result of these studies, it was determined that the entire bridge required seismic safety improvements. The San Francisco side of the Bay Bridge (West Span), required seismic retrofit work; for the Oakland side of the bridge (East Span) the most cost-effective solution requires the complete replacement of the existing span. Seismic safety work on the West Approach to the bridge in San Francisco involved completely removing and replacing a one-mile stretch of Interstate 80 and three on- and three off-ramps. The estimated cost for the new Bay Bridge (East Span), is $6.4 billion.
The seismic safety work on the Bay Bridge encompasses multiple projects. Seismic safety work on the West Span of the bridge has already been completed, as has work on the West Approach, the 1-mile stretch of interstate highway connecting San Francisco to the bridge. The East Span of the bridge was seismically upgraded through the complete replacement of the old span. This involved multiple projects, including the construction of a 1.2-mile Skyway; a Self-Anchored Suspension span consisting of a 525-foot tower supporting a bridge deck connecting the Skyway to the Yerba Buena Island Transition Structure on Yerba Buena Island; and the Oakland Touchdown, the east end of the bridge connecting to the toll plaza.
The Mayor celebrating this achievement stated today that "This new East Span of the Bay Bridge serves as a monument to human ingenuity and creativity — not to mention patience — to protect and enhance our communities in the face of natural forces beyond our control."
For more information about the Bay Bridge project please visit: http://baybridgeinfo.org