Bay Bridge reopens with new precautions
After six days, San Francisco's Bay Bridge reopened for the Monday morning commute. Extra steps have been taken to ensure the repairs don't fail again, officials said.
Russel A. Daniels/AP
Six days after it was closed because of a failed repair job, snarling traffic throughout the Bay Area and raising fresh safety concerns, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopened around 9 a.m. Monday.
The bridge, one of the busiest in the world, was shuttered when a 5,000 pound crossbar and two steel rods collapsed onto evening rush-hour traffic last Tuesday, damaging three cars and injuring one motorist.
Transportation officials blamed traffic vibration and high winds for undoing a Labor Day repair job to a cracked structural beam called an eyebar.
This time, officials say, additional steps have been taken to ensure the new steel rods installed to mend the fractured beam don't fail again.
An anti-vibration system has been put in place to limit stresses and additional supports installed to prevent any rods – in case they snap off again – from falling on traffic.
The new system passed all tests with "flying colors," Caltrans said. At a Monday morning press conference, spokesman Bart Ney said that officials will continue monitoring the repair, looking for any stresses in that part of the Bay Bridge, which carries about 280,000 motorists daily.