OAKLAND (KCBS) – Work to repair the broken bolts on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge was scheduled to begin on Thursday.

Transportation officials earlier this month outlined a plan for the broken bolts – installing steel saddles, which would be placed over the base of the seismic shock absorber that was initially intended to attach to the bridge by the rods. About 430 steel cables covered in concrete will tie down the saddles.

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Officials said they chose the steel saddles over the other option, a steel collar, because it was less difficult and less costly.

The big question that remains is testing another batch of 192 bolts manufactured by the same company. It’s still not known if those bolts will have to be replaced and what that would mean for opening the Bay Bridge on time. It has been scheduled to open this Labor Day weekend but that remains in flux.

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One option transportation officials have discussed is making the necessary fixes to the broken bolts, than possibly holding off on fixing any other bolts that might need to be replaced until after the span opens.

You can hear Phil Matier’s comments Monday through Friday at 7:50am and 5:50pm on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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