Announcement Of Opening Day For New Bay Bridge Span Looms

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Next Wednesday, July 10, is the day local transportation officials said they would announce if the new Bay Bridge will open as planned this Labor Day weekend.

Ahead of that much anticipated joint announcement by Caltrans, the Bay Area Toll Authority and the California Transportation Commission, bridge engineers are saying that the testing of thousands of bolts on the span has proved encouraging.

The testing of more than 2,200 fasteners on the new span was ordered after 32 of a set of 96 large bolts broke after being tightened in March.

“The different tests that we have been doing on the other bolts,” declared Bay Bridge spokesman Andrew Gordon, “all of the results have been very positive and we’re seeing very significant differences between these bolts and the bolts that broke.”

Gordon said the other bolts simply aren’t showing signs of hydrogen embrittlement in these short term tests.

Still, long term tests will need to be done, and are expected to begin later this month, to determine if there would be any issues with the bolts decades from now.

“These longer term tests don’t have any bearing on the decision about whether or not to open for Labor Day,” he pointed out.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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