Engineers Prepare to "Unbuild" Old Bay Bridge East Span

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Bay Area's Cheryl Hurd provides a firsthand look at the work being done to install the Bay Bridge's new East Span. (Published Thursday, Aug 29, 2013)

    Less than 24 hours ago, traffic was rolling across the Bay Bridge, but Thursday -- as commuters found another way around  -- it was filled with construction crews racing against the clock to get the new Eastern Span ready to open.

    New Bay Bridge East Span on Schedule for Tuesday Opening

    [BAY] New Bay Bridge East Span on Schedule for Tuesday Opening
    Construction crews on track to unveil new East Span by Tuesday morning. Jodi Hernandez reports. (Published Thursday, Aug 29, 2013)

    Among the work: Deconstructing the original westbound approach to the bridge to make way for a bike path connector and putting in a protective polyester overlay near the tunnel so drivers can have a smooth ride through.

    But, while construction takes place on the new span, deconstruction must happen on the old one.

    “This is almost like a giant, complex Tinker Toy set,” said Andrew Gordon, Bay Bridge spokesman.

    Commuters Take Day 1 of Bay Bridge Closure in Stride

    [BAY] Commuters Take Day 1 of Bay Bridge Closure in Stride
    Many commuters NBC Bay Area spoke to on Thursday took Day 1 of the Bay Bridge closure in stride. Stephanie Chuang reports. (Published Thursday, Aug 29, 2013)

    Tearing the old bridge apart will be no easy task. The half-mile-long cantilever is made of some 50-million pounds of steel.

    Engineers have been studying how the bridge was put together 80 years ago to help them.

    Commute Tolerable on 1st Day of Bay Bridge Closure

    [BAY] Commute Tolerable on 1st Day of Bay Bridge Closure
    BART trains seemed more full and commuters had their ears open to any and all traffic alerts on Thursday morning, the first day of the five-day Bay Bridge closure as transportation workers closed the workhorse bridge to get ready for the new eastern span. Christie Smith reports Despite the heightened alert, the morning commute on the first day after the bridge closed seemed pretty OK. (Published Thursday, Aug 29, 2013)

    “We're looking at how it was built so we can basically, for lack of a better term, unbuild it and reverse that order,” said Brian Maroney, Caltrans Chief Engineer.

    But, for now, the focus is on the new bridge, and so far things are right on schedule.

    Bay Bridge's Historic Eastern Span

    [BAY] Bay Bridge's Historic Eastern Span
    NBC Bay Area's Raj Mathai takes a look into the history of the Bay Bridge's eastern span. (Published Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013)

    It is expected to take about three years to deconstruct the old bridge. Caltrans says it will start to remove large chunks of the old span in March.

    Sign up for Breaking News alerts from NBC Bay Area for the latest on the Bay Bridge closure.