San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Update
Historic Lift of First Self-Anchored Suspension Span Section for New Bay Bridge East Span
First of 28 Deck Sections Sliding Into Place
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View the Action in Real Time at bata.mtc.ca.gov
Oakland, CA, February 3, 2010. … The first permanent deck section of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s Self-Anchored Suspension Span (SAS) – the crowning piece of the new East Span – was hoisted onto the bridge’s eastbound temporary supports this morning. This historic lift marks the moment when the action on the iconic SAS begins to shift from fabrication to erection here on the Bay. When construction is completed, the SAS will be the largest of its kind, at 2,047 feet long with a single, 525-foot-tall tower.
“With this lift, we’re beginning to close the final gap toward seismic safety on the Bay Bridge,” said Andrew Fremier, deputy executive director of the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA). “The public has waited patiently for this milestone, and the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee is excited to start this stage of the construction.” The Committee consists of top staff from BATA, Caltrans and the California Transportation Commission, which together are guiding and funding the monumental East Span project.
This first deck section weighs 1,020 tons and is nearly 84 feet long; all 28 deck sections will be about 90 feet wide. The section was lifted by a 400- by 100-foot shear leg crane barge known as the West Coast Lifter, the largest on the West Coast. The crane placed this first section onto a cradle on the eastbound side of the temporary supports. The cradle will then gently carry the section into place at the westernmost end of the supports, on the edge of Yerba Buena Island. The cradle is outfitted with ski-like appendages that will be pushed by two horizontal hydraulic jacks along raised, Teflon-capped pedestals greased with a special solution, moving about 10 feet with each push.
“It’s like a big sled we’re pushing,” said Mike Flowers, project director for American Bridge/Fluor, the construction company building the SAS. “We’ve done a lot of dry runs with [the apparatus], but now we have about 1,000 tons sitting on top of it.”
While today’s dry, clear weather is optimal for the operation, it could take more than a day for the piece to glide the 650 feet to its destination, Flowers said. The next several pieces will also be hoisted at the same location on the same side before the action shifts to the westbound deck.
The various deck sections vary in weight from 559 tons to 1,669 tons, as well as in length, from 60 feet long up to 229 feet long. The first eight of the 28 deck sections for the SAS arrived on January 21, 2010, from Shanghai, and will be set in place at the rate of about one a week from here on, according to Flowers.
Deck and tower sections will arrive throughout the year, and the new East Span is expected to be open to both westbound and eastbound traffic in 2013.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission • 101 Eighth Street, Oakland, California 94607
This page was last modified Friday February 05, 2010
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