Caltrans Says Bay Bridge Rods Need to Be Adjusted

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    Arnab Bose
    The Bay Lights could keep shining on the Bay Bridge until 2026.

    Some of the anchor rods that hold in place strands of the main cable of the Bay Bridge's new eastern span are skewed off-center and will have to be adjusted, a Caltrans spokesman said Saturday.

    However, spokesman Victor Gauthier said, "It's not an urgent issue" and driver safety, seismic safety and the expected 150-year lifespan of the bridge won't be impacted by the problem.

    The concern is that the rods are now close to the sharp-edged plates that are inside the new span and if the rods are jerked in a large earthquake the cable could be damaged and the bridge's stability could be threatened.

    Gauthier said many of the rods, which are essential to the span's structural stability, are less than the required 10 millimeters from the inner surface of the holes through which they pass.

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    "There's an adjustment that needs to take place so there's adequate clearance," Gauthier said. One possibility is make the holes bigger and the other is to realign the bolts as they go through the holes, he said.

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    But he said the work can be finished "in several months" while the bride is still in service.

    Gauthier said it's too early to estimate what the repair will cost but he said, "It's definitely not a difficult job."

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    Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman Randy Rentschler also said it's too soon to estimate the cost but he said it's likely the amount will be in the millions of dollars, not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    The money for the work will come from the bridge's contingency fund, he said.

    Rentschler said, "It's not an immediate problem" and probably won't be the last issue for the new eastern span, which was a $6.4 billion project and just opened last Labor Day.