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Bay Bridge Official Promises Explanation of Broken Bolts ‘Screw Up’

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Workers walk on a cable of the newly constructed eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on May 23, 2013. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Workers walk on a cable of the newly constructed eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on May 23, 2013. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (KCBS) – The status of the anchor rods on the new Bay Bridge and an updated construction schedule for the new eastern span are set to be presented at a special meet Wednesday of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

Ninety-six faulty seismic safety bolts will have to be fixed before the span opens in December at the earliest.

“We will describe the series of steps, and frankly missteps, that led to the selection of these bolts,” said Steve Heminger, executive director of the MTC.

“This bolt thing was a screw-up, and we’ve got to fix the screw-up to get traffic onto this new bridge,” he said.

The fundamental mistake was to treat all 2,000 bolts on the single tower suspension span as if they offered the same solution, he said.

“We probably ought to have bought different kinds of bolts depending upon the location and the job they were being asked to perform.”

Heminger announced Monday after a closed-door session with state lawmakers that the Labor Day opening for the bridge, planned since the original Bay Bridge was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, had been postponed.

Details of what led to the postponement are expected during a presentation at the meeting. Transportation officials have indicated replacing the bolts that have snapped will be a complicated, expensive project estimated to cost $15 million.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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