The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has completed the demolition of the cantilever portion of the East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The work is the first phase of the bridge demo, having begun in November 2013 and costing an estimated $63.7 million.
The East Span dates back to 1936 and is being taken apart in the reverse order it was built, Caltrans officials said. At one point, there were two portions that jutted out 700 feet from support piers.
“This careful balancing act was performed hundreds of feet above the Bay and had to deal with the elements and heavy lifts of lead-painted steel, all while adhering to strict environmental safeguards,” said Chief Bridge Engineer for the project, Dr. Brian Maroney.
“California Engineering Contractors Inc./Silverado Contractors, Inc., and the engineers truly deserve credit for a great job,” he added.
“This steel was new 80 years ago and technology was basically paper, pencils slide rules and calculations. The steel is now tired fatigued, cracked and rusted. This incredibly challenging work was completed on time, under budget and without loss of life, and that demands our respect.”
The next phase of demolition involves taking apart the truss spans extending to the Oakland shore.