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Bay Bridge Officials Hopeful About Fix For Broken Bolts

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Members of the media inspect the new Bay Bridge Eastern Span following the "load transfer" process (KCBS)

Members of the media inspect the new Bay Bridge Eastern Span following the “load transfer” process (KCBS)

HollyQuan20100908_KCBS_0017r Holly Quan
Holly was born and raised in Oakland and she graduated from San...
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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Within the next two weeks, transportation officials are hoping to have a design fix for broken bolts on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge ready for review. Officials said there is also plenty of money to cover the repairs.

Last week, workers discovered more than 30 broken bolts on the new eastern span. There are a total of 288 bolts, which are also known as rods, anchoring steel pieces to concrete.

Some of the bolts are inaccessible and can’t be replaced. One idea is to put a steel collar around the failed bolts, according to Randy Rentschler with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Rentschler said they’re not worried about the cost. “We don’t know the costs of taking care of this problem yet. Generally speaking we don’t work in the thousands of dollars around here because everything is so large, but it’s impossible to say how much this is going to cost right now,” he said.

According to Rentschler, there are $300 million in contingency funds built into the original budget, and he said the fix won’t make a dent in that amount.

Complete Coverage: The New Bay Bridge

While engineers are working for a solution soon, there will be plenty of oversight. “They’re going to run this by a number of peer review organizations that they already have set up. They’re not going to just do it themselves. They’re going to have a large number of outsiders take a look and comment about what their plans are,” Rentschler said.

Caltrans is looking into the small family-run company in Ohio that supplied the bolts to see why they failed, and if there would be any way to recoup the costs of the fix.

Officials said repairs won’t delay the opening of the $6.4 billion bridge, which is slated for the morning of September 3rd.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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