OAKLAND (CBS/AP/BCN) — Officials are studying a temporary fix for cracked seismic safety bolts on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge that could allow the new eastern span to open as scheduled on Labor Day after all, but they said Wednesday a decision had not yet been made on the work.
At this point, members of the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee said, the longer-term repairs were still scheduled to be finished by Dec. 10.
A bridge engineering expert surprised the transportation officials who are overseeing the $6.4 billion project with his comments at Wednesday’s committee meeting about a short-term fix that could avoid derailing the planned opening of the span.
Frieder Seible recommended a “shimming” idea — installing steel plates into the area of the broken bolts to help prevent movement during an earthquake on the new span, which is aimed at being safer during a quake than the existing span built 77 years ago.
The temporary fix would be in place while long-term repairs occurred, said Sieble who is an emeritus dean at the University of California at San Diego and also chairs the Toll Bridge Program Seismic Safety Peer Review Panel.