OAKLAND (BCN) – Work to install new sections of a 525-foot-tall tower on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge has been delayed for least four days because of a maintenance issue, Caltrans officials said Wednesday.

The installation of the four 107-foot-tall, 617-ton sections had been scheduled to begin at 4 a.m. Wednesday and continue around the clock until Sunday.

Caltrans officials held a news conference on Tuesday to warn drivers not to be distracted by the work, as the new sections will be highly visible to motorists.

But in a statement Wednesday, Caltrans said, “A maintenance issue with an essential piece of equipment must be addressed before the lifting operation can begin.”

“The equipment has been removed from the bridge for repair and the lifting operation is scheduled to take place the following week,” Caltrans officials said.

The work will now begin the week of Oct. 24.

Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney wasn’t immediately available for comment.

The first set of sections of the tower was installed in late July.  Once the second sections are in place, the tower will be 272 feet tall, a little over half of its final size, which will be 525 feet tall.

The final set of sections of the tower is scheduled to be installed in January.

Ney told reporters on Tuesday that the $6.3 billion project to build the new eastern span and make the bridge more seismically safe is still on schedule and is expected to be completed in 2013.


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