SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Decades after part of the old San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed in a 1989 earthquake, and following billions of dollars in cost overruns and other problems, a new eastern span is set to open this week.
The $6.4 billion bridge is one of the costliest public works projects in California history. Workers recently applied a temporary fix to dozens of defective rods used to anchor the roadway to important earthquake safety structures. A permanent fix should be done by December.
The self-anchored suspension bridge with a looming, single white tower was designed to endure 150 years and withstand the strongest earthquake estimated to occur at the site over a 1,500-year period.
Steve Heminger, head of the project’s watchdog group, said the span is orders of magnitude safer than the current crossing, which was patched up and continued operating, though considered seismically unsafe.