Search title image

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Update

East Span Update:
Massive Floating Crane Makes First Major Lift

In this photo, the crane – which sits to the right of the existing East Span and the construction zone -- has just lifted the temporary roadway support section from a barge, and is about to position it on the temporary support structures for the new East Span. In the foreground, the already completed, twin-decked Skyway reaches westward, waiting for the day when the self-anchored suspension span will bridge the gap between the Skyway and the Yerba Buena Island Tunnel and complete the new East Span. ©2009 Barrie Rokeach

Friday, May 29, 2009 … The immense, barge-mounted crane -- dubbed the “Left Coast Lifter” -- that is being used to help build the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s new suspension span got to work today, performing its first major lift. Early this morning, the crane hoisted a 410-foot-long temporary truss weighing nearly 1,200 tons into place atop one of the temporary support towers. This temporary “bridge” will support work on the permanent span.

The crane was custom built for Caltrans and MTC’s Bay Area Toll Authority in Shanghai, China, and this summer will play a leading role in the main act of the challenging East Span construction process: positioning the permanent steel deck segments and tower sections for the self-anchored suspension span, or SAS, that will cross the deep-water shipping channel. These permanent tower and deck pieces are being fabricated in Shanghai at the same facility that built the Left Coast Lifter. (See related story)

East Span construction aerial

A view of the Left Coast Lifter in action, looking toward the Skyway and the East Bay. ©2009 Barrie Rokeach