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It’s being built in China. It’s taken twice as long as expected. And it will cost double what you’ve been told.// When completed, the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will be not only the most complex engineering feat in California history, but also the most expensive, with a cost never subjected to public scrutiny. Although today’s price tag stands at $6.3 billion, the figure accounts for only salaries and hard materials—things like concrete and steel and cranes. When all is said and done, the new Bay Bridge will wind up costing tax- and toll-payers more than $12 billion—a figure that leaves even the officials in charge “staggered.”
A Caltrans inspector fired for falsifying test results on other projects did not do so on the foundations for the new Bay Bridge tower, an independent panel of engineers has concluded, saying that the new east span will be "safe and reliable."
The committee ordered an investigation in November after media reports that inspector Duane Wiles, who was fired the same month for falsifying test results on three other Caltrans project in 2008 and 2009, had been part of the inspection team when the foundations for the east span's 525-foot tower were tested in 2006.
Questions over welds delay Bay Bridge project
Construction of the tower portion of the Bay Bridge's new eastern span is running months behind schedule, amid questions over whether key portions being made at a Chinese steel plant are defective.
Inspectors hired by Caltrans to monitor the fabrication of steel girders that will support the tower's roadway reported finding cracked welds last year, Caltrans records show.
Caltrans and others in charge of the bridge construction say the welds are safe and that fixes have been made - but also say the inspectors interpreted the welding standards too rigidly.
Bay Bridge welding woes lead to China trip
Inspectors hired by Caltrans reported finding a number of cracked welds in the girders that will support the roadway, which we reported in January. Officials say those problems were fixed, but then more cracks were found in welds linking the deck plates to the girders.
Bridge Comes to San Francisco With a Made-in-China Label
“They’ve produced a pretty impressive bridge for us,” Tony Anziano, a program manager at the California Department of Transportation, said a few weeks ago. He was touring the 1.2-square-mile manufacturing site that the Chinese company created to do the bridge work. “Four years ago, there were just steel plates here and lots of orange groves.”