Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bay Bridge

I really didn't want to write about this, but it keeps popping up everywhere. Bay Bridge will remain closed for 'a few days' --

So let me see if I have this straight. They made a temporary repair - just over a month ago - that failed and dropped a 5000 pound beam onto rush hour traffic. (They are so lucky this didn't end up like the incident in Boston's Big Dig a few years back were some thousand pounds of concrete fell on a car.) Now engineers are saying that the repair had no chance of standing up to the daily loads of wind and cars. And they should fix any other area that was repaired in the same fashion.

And yes, this is your tax dollars at work.

Oh, and the new bridge they are building... will that fix all the problems? Probably not. You see, Some Bay Bridge concrete may be substandard (it's cheaper after all to use substandard concrete.)
Caltrans tests have revealed that some 50 percent of the required rock in concrete poured into parts of the Bay Bridge's new western approach viaducts a year ago were actually chunks of old, ground-up concrete, an agency official said Tuesday.

The testing stems from the discovery by a Caltrans inspector in July 2005 that a cement mixer was delivering "soupy" concrete, which he then flushed with water to discover chunks of crushed, recycled concrete.
But never fear. This won't make the new bridge unsafe, it will just need to be replaced even sooner. More of your tax dollars at work. (Or your kids' tax dollars.) So is there any quality control happening on this new bridge? Doesn't sound like it.

California is so screwed.

I can't even imagine what the closure of the Bay Bridge is doing to traffic and commuting - already a nightmare in SF.

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