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Transportation News

Bay Bridge Seismic Safety

Bart Ney, Caltrans 510.224.6499
Randy Rentschler, BATA 510.817.5780
Stephen Maller, CTC 916.654.4245

Work Resumes on New Bay Bridge Foundations

Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee Resolves a Major Challenge

Oakland, Calif., Dec. 7, 2005 – On the waters of the San Francisco Bay, construction work has resumed on the foundations for the world’s largest Single Tower Self Anchored Suspension (SAS) Bridge. The steel template that will guide 8.5-foot diameter piles to support the elegant 525-foot-tall tower has already been reinstalled. “This is a great start for the new oversight partnership team,” said Caltrans Director Will Kempton, who is one of the three principal directors for the new Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee (TBPOC). Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) Executive Director Steve Heminger and California Transportation Commission (CTC) Executive Director Diane Eidam share oversight responsibility on the new team. The TBPOC was developed as part of California Assembly Bill 144 (AB 144) signed by Governor Schwarzenegger in July of 2005 to oversee the Toll Bridge Seismic Retrofit Program.

The marine foundations for the new SAS Bridge were awarded in a separate contract to Kiewit-FCI-Manson, a Joint Venture, on April 1, 2004. The project was suspended earlier this year following a design difference that was resolved by the governor and state legislators in AB 144 authored by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock. The TBPOC recently approved an $81 million change order that covers all contractor costs including labor, equipment, materials, on and off site storage yard costs, and time-related overhead incurred by suspending the project. The newly restarted marine foundation contract is within the $313.5 million base line budget assumed by AB 144 “With AB 144 and the restart of the marine foundations we are back on track,” said BATA Executive Director Steve Heminger.

Back on the San Francisco Bay clear signs of progress are visible on the water. Along with the tower template, work crews are preparing to place the new steel template on the eastern foundation for the SAS bridge. The contractor has already ordered the steel to finish this work, which is now estimated to be completed in the Spring of 2008. “The team is doing all it can to ensure a safe, high quality bridge at the best possible price for the State of California,” said CTC Executive Director Diane Eidam.

The contract for the SAS Bridge superstructure went out for bid on August 1, 2005. Submitted bids will be opened for this contract on February 1, 2006.