Dang: The Chinese-Made Bay Bridge Continues to Fall Apart

By Matthew McMullan
Apr 07 2015 |
Man oh man, is this beautiful Bay Bridge busted? | Image by flickr user avrene.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the bridge’s anchor rods may be snapping.

Good news for people who like bad news: There are serious problems with the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Again. From the San Francisco Chronicle comes the news that one of the anchor rods in the bridge’s eastern span may have snapped:

An ultrasonic test performed late last month indicates that the steel fastener may be as much as 6 inches shorter than the other rods, Caltrans officials say. It could have snapped at the bottom because of corrosion, or it could simply have been cut or made shorter than the other 400-plus rods at the tower’s base, they say.

The answer could determine whether Caltrans must bolster the tower’s anchoring system.

In 2012, AAM placed billboards near approaches to the Bay Bridge that decried the use of foreign steel in the bridge’s reconstruction.

It’s a potentially huge problem, but it’s hardly the first. The Bay Bridge’s construction was riddled with concern and controversy, after the state’s transportation officials and former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger outsourced huge chunks of the span’s fabrication to China – over the Alliance for American Manufacturing’s strenuous objections, we’d like to note. Quality concerns, cost overruns, and delays marred the project, and the problems have persisted since its overdue completion in 2013.

We could have avoided a lot of these problems by, you know, making it in America. But not to worry. Reports the Chronicle:

Caltrans is optimistic that the latest scare will turn out to be nothing more than a scare.

They’re optimistic about the latest scare! Well that’s good news.  

If you like bad news, read about the latest problem with the Bay Bridge here. Or read about the history of this rolling fiasco in this handy news repository from the Sacramento Bee.