The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge's new eastern span has been lit. The new bridge segment has been under construction for than 12 years and is the result of years of political wrangling, engineering hurdles, and financial overruns. When it opens in 2014, the new span will be able to handle six lanes of traffic instead of only four as the old one does now. It will also have a center divider and bike lanes.
The new span replaces an aging bridge that was originally built in 1937 by the renowned architectural firm of Howard de Walden and Associates. After two decades of service, the original span required replacement because its approach piers were deteriorating. The new eastern span was designed by the same team but used modern materials for its design. It's expected to last at least 100 years.
Work on the new span began in 2002 and was scheduled for completion in 2009. But construction delays pushed back the opening date to early 2014. Cost overruns forced the state to take ownership of the project in 2006. As of 2013, the total cost had risen to $7.5 billion from a planned price tag of $4.4 billion.
In addition to replacing the existing bridge, the new span provides access to land that had been occupied by parking lots.
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge's eastern span replacement
|San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge (eastern span replacement)|
|Construction start||January 29, 2002|
|Construction end||September 2, 2013|
|Construction cost||$6.5 Billion ($7.18 billion in 2019 dollars)|
|Opened||September 2, 2013 10:15pm|
EAST SPAN REPLACEMENT The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, first inaugurated in 1936, is one of the world's busiest long-span bridges amid a beautiful urban and natural environment. The Loma Prieta Quake, which occurred in 1989, caused a partial collapse of the bridge's eastern section on the Oakland side of the bay. This photo shows the aftermath of the quake and ensuing flood damage to nearby buildings.
The new span will be longer than the old one and include more traffic lanes as well as an underground parking facility for vehicles heading into Oakland. It is expected to open in 2017 or 2018 at the latest.
WEST TRUNK FAULT A section of the west truss of the old bridge collapsed during the earthquake, causing several cars to fall into the bay. No injuries were reported but this incident raised concerns about the stability of the bridge structure.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY BRIDGE COLLAPSE SUSPICIONS The original design of the bridge was found to be flawed due to cost concerns. Critics say that this fact has been ignored as funding has run out to repair the damage done by heavy truck use over the years. They claim that the bridge was built too cheaply to last and that its owners, the California Department of Transportation, know this but have chosen not to repair it because they want to use the money for other projects.
|San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge|
|Total length||West: 10,304 ft (3,141 m) East span: 10,176 ft (3,102 m) Total: 4.46 miles (7.18 km) excluding approaches|
|Width||West: 5 traffic lanes totaling 57.5 ft (17.5 m) East: 10 traffic lanes totaling 258.33 ft (78.74 m)|
|Height||West: 526 ft (160 m)|
One of the most amazing engineering buildings in the United States is the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The American Society of Civil Engineers designated the bridge as a nationally important structure in terms of engineering as well as its significance in California and national transportation history. The bridge is also a symbol of our region's identity and economy.
The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge connects Oakland and San Francisco across the estuary of the same name. It is one of only two cross-estuarine bridges in California (the other being the Carquinez Bridge), and is the only one that carries traffic daily. Opened in 1936, the original bridge was replaced by its current version in 2010-11.
The bridge is an example of "artistic" architecture, designed by Charles Ellis Kelly with input from John C. Portman. It consists of three main sections: two parallel suspension bridges connected by a center section. The longest span is about 3 miles long and connects Oakland to Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco. There are over 40 structures on the bridge, including towers up to 400 feet high. Each section has different features such as varying numbers of lanes, vertical clearance for vehicles, and curvature for sight lines.
For three years The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge took little more than three years to build. Surprisingly, for a modern construction project, the work was finished six months ahead of time and under budget.
The new bridge is a suspension bridge with two towers that are taller than their counterparts on the Golden Gate Bridge. The main span of the new bridge is longer than that of its predecessor - at 14,750 feet (4,518 m), it's almost half a mile (800 m) long - and it carries four traffic lanes plus a wide shoulder. There are also plans to add a fifth traffic lane sometime in the future.
The first section of the new bridge opened to traffic on April 1, 1970. It was named after its architect, John F. Kennedy, who was president when it was built. The entire structure was completed eight months early, on February 4, 1972.
Today, many large bridges are made from multiple layers of steel girders connected by concrete sections.