Thursday
April
24
2014
5:15 pm
Weather
  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

Rain reveals leaks on new section of Bay Bridge
February 10, 2014, 05:00 AM The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — While the weekend rain was a welcome sight in many parts of drought-hit Northern California, California transportation officials said the moisture reached a place it shouldn’t have — inside a new, $6.4 billion section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Part of the steel structure that was supposed to be watertight is leaking, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Caltrans told the newspaper that rainwater was found beneath the road deck on the marquee stretch of the new eastern span that opened last year, which features a sailboat-shaped tower with a pair of suspension cables.

The seepage might be coming from the steel guardrails that were used on that portion of the bridge to reduce weight, the Chronicle said. The rails were bolted into place through holes drilled into the steel that supports the roadway. But instead of applying caulk between the two surfaces, the project’s main contractor applied caulk outside the rails so they could be repositioned more easily. A coat of waterproof epoxy was put over the caulk, but the seal may not be performing as expected.

Another potential culprit could be electrical holes put in near the guardrails, the Chronicle said.

“You do the best you can, but water will always find its way in,” said Bill Casey, a Caltrans project engineer.

Transportation officials knew rain was getting into the bridge within months of its September opening, but it took a storm as large as the one that hit the Bay Area experienced this weekend for inspectors to get a good look at the problem, Casey said.

Bridge spokesman Andrew Gordon said the source of every leak has not been pinpointed but that the problem so far looks manageable.

“You don’t want any water inside,” Gordon told the Chronicle. “So far, it’s slowly dripping. But we are going to have teams of engineers and inspectors there this weekend to assess the problem.”

Independent engineers say the leaks could cause the bridge to corrode and significantly shorten its life span.

“That’s a problem, a big problem,” said Lisa Thomas, a metallurgical engineer who studies material failure at a laboratory in Berkeley. “They want it to last 150 years. But with water coming in, something is going to corrode until it’s too thin and weak.”

Concerns about the structural integrity of the seismic safety bolts used on the new span threatened to delay its opening on Labor Day. More than 30 of the 17-foot-long fasteners bolts that secure earthquake shock absorbers to the deck of the bridge cracked when they were tightened. Caltrans is conducting further tests on their long-term viability.

———

Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com

 

 

Tags: bridge, chronicle, problem, francisco, water, weekend,


Other stories from today:

San Mateo County police reports
Woodside pilots concussion testing program: Boys’ lacrosse team is first Sequoia district group to try new technology
Storm brings impressive rain, snow to California
 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
Return To Archives
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
Do you support a land swap between the city of San Carlos and the elementary school district so the Charter Learning Center could be built on North Crestview?

Yes
No
Not sure

 

 
Tabbed Structure - Regular
 
 
 
 
 
 
Light showers, possible hail arriving tonight
Bay Area residents should expect rainy weather to arrive tonight and continue through the weekend, b..
Israel halts peace talks with Palestinians
JERUSALEM — Israel broke off Mideast peace talks and brought the U.S.-brokered process to the brin..
Paul McCartney to close Candlestick Park with farewell concert in August
Music legend Paul McCartney will perform the final concert at San Francisco's soon-to-be-demolished ..
FDA proposes first regulations for e-cigarettes
WASHINGTON — The federal government wants to ban sales of electronic cigarettes to minors and requ..
Man, 84, arrested for shooting at Daly City medical facility
Police in Daly City have arrested an 84-year-old man in connection with a shooting at a medical cent..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
San Mateo County politics