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Gov. Brown On Cracked Bay Bridge Bolts: ‘Sh*t Happens’

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California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference at the Port of Oakland on July 9, 2012 in Oakland. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California Governor Jerry Brown speaks during a news conference at the Port of Oakland on July 9, 2012 in Oakland. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – Gov. Jerry Brown doesn’t appear to be losing any sleep over the cracked bolts on the unopened new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, telling reporters, “Look, sh*t happens.”

Brown made the comments Tuesday at the California Highway Patrol Academy in West Sacramento – for the first time openly addressing the discovery of 32 brittle, defective bolts on the new $6 billion eastern span.

Those anchor bolts recently snapped when they were tightened; the bolts were manufactured in 2008 and are believed to have failed because too much exposure to hydrogen made them brittle. Questions were then raised about the long-term strength of another 192 similar bolts along the span.

Public reaction about the use of questionable bolts has transportation officials seeking to reassure the community that safety is the top priority, regardless of the timeline.

Regarding the safety concerns, Brown told reporters it was too early to “pull our hair out” and that he was “optimistic until proven otherwise.”

On Wednesday, transportation officials are expected to detail plans to repair and replace the defective bolts.

As KPIX 5 reported Monday, the fate of the planned Labor Day opening of the new span may not be known for some time.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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