SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Caltrans engineer Brian Maroney finds himself in a unique position.
The toll bridge seismic retrofit chief engineer says the project to remove the remains of the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge is two years ahead of schedule.
“We have found ourselves in the position where we are about 2 years ahead of schedule on the high steel that we have to remove,” he told KCBS. “It begs the question of why can’t we finish the work that we planned for the next two years – this year.”
In the past year, Caltrans has imploded three old piers from the span and removed them.
Those removals have found that the process has had a minimal impact to wildlife and water quality.
The transit agency now has 13 more piers to implode before removal of the massive structure – that has been replaced by a new seismically safe bridge – is completed.
Seven were scheduled to be removed this year and six next year.
The plan Maroney presented to the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission calls for multiple piers to be imploded at once between Sept. 2017 and Nov. 2017.
Caltrans will need to receive permits from the commission before any work can go forward
“One of the really big questions that we have to ask is — what are the differences to the species in the Bay when it comes to blowing up three at once versus one,” said Larry Goldzband, executive director of the commission.
Goldzband said he expected Caltrans to put forward a formal proposal that will answer that question sometime this summer.