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More Problems For Eastern Span Of Bay Bridge, Off-Center Bolts Could Be Damaged In Quake

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ChrisFilippi 20100909_KCBS_0379r Chris Filippi
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OAKLAND (KCBS) – A new concern has arisen with some of the bolts used on the new $6.5 billion eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

There is now an alignment problem with some of the bolts that attach the main cable on the east side to the deck of the span.

Bridge officials said now, more than 200 of the bolts are less than 10 millimeters from the holes which they are placed. Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman Randy Rentschler said the off-center bolts could be damaged from friction during an earthquake.

“One way to solve it is to cut the hole a little bigger. They haven’t decided yet what to do, but this is looking forward and making sure everything is okay,” Rentschler said. “Everything is fine right now, but the bridge moves a lot with weather and wind and they just want to be extra cautious.”

More Problems For Eastern Span Of Bay Bridge, With New Bolt Concerns

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Bay Bridge spokesman Victor Gauthier said the bolts are under the deck, so workers would not have to disrupt traffic to make repairs.

“This does not pose any problem to the drivers,” Gauthier said. “It poses no risk to the seismic performance of the self-anchored suspension span.”

The Bay Bridge had problems with bolts last year, when more than 30 of the high-strength rods snapped. Since then, questions have been raised about the safety and reliability of all the bolts and rods on the bridge.

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