Bay Bridge Reopens After Troubled Makeover
03 September 2013
After a weekend of construction, the San Francisco Bay Bridge has reopened with a new eastern span that is the subject of discussion over the project's extended length and expenses. The old span partially collapsed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and the cost estimate of building a new bridge rose from a little over one billion dollars to a final cost of $6.4 billion.
Karen Frick, assistant director of the University of California Transportation Center and lecturer in the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley, says the cost grew because planners opened the process up and started asking some big questions.
"When you provide an opportunity for conversation, there's naturally friction. And that's what happened, very publicly, and also influenced cost in a huge way," Frick said.
Other issues that have come up during the bridge's construction have also faced controversy, including the discovery of the poor quality of Chinese steel, bad welds, and the breaking of massive bolts in the seismic safety system.
The completed new bridge crosses the distance between Oakland and Yerba Buena Island and is the world's largest single tower, self-anchored suspension span.