Not convinced new span is better

I have not seen or read anything that convinces me the new span of the Bay Bridge is any better or even as good as the old section it is replacing.

I know the design includes a major feature that is supposed to minimize earthquake shaking and damage, but we will just have to wait and see.

Of course, the biggest issue is the lack of "real" information in the media regarding the quality of the material used for the new construction.

There have been many articles on this issue, but none included the actual design specifications, the component test results, and assembly test parameters, etc. All metal fasteners have torque requirements.

It doesn't matter whether the vendors used are in the United States or elsewhere (China). If Boeing used a similar process to build airplanes, we would have airplane crashes on a daily basis.

David Brusiee

Pleasanton

Bay Bridge debacle absurd

Years of delays, unbelievable cost overruns, lack of oversight during critical testing, and now the steel rods -- designed to protect us in the event of a major earthquake -- are snapping like crisp potato chips.

And yet, we are not only expected to celebrate this debacle, but as residents who already pay both taxes and bridge tolls, we are now expected to fund millions of dollars for portable toilets and buses so that people can walk across the new span at no cost before it opens to car traffic.

I fail to see why this ongoing nightmare and potential disaster is worthy of any celebration at all, let alone one that I am asked to pay for.

My toll fees should be used only to maintain our bridges and roads, not for a party to celebrate incompetence and carelessness.

Susan Fenn

Pinole

Vendor of bolts should pay for replacements

The problem of what to do about the faulty bolts on the Bay Bridge is "complex."

The solution, however, should be "simple."

The company that sold the defective products to the state of California should be held responsible for replacing all of them and the cost to do so. Period.

John Whalen

Walnut Creek

Know how to swim for bridge opening

It looks like anyone who intends to walk across the new Bay Bridge on opening day had better wear a life jacket -- and know how to swim -- just in case.

Dan Robertson

Crockett

Little confidence in safety of span

Having been a civil/structural engineer for many years, I have very little, or no, confidence in the safety of the new span of the Bay Bridge in view of the recent reports by the news media on the broken anchor bolts issue.

The bolts are an integral part to assure the safety of the overall structure when the bridge is subjected to constant vibrations due to traffic loads, as well as wind loads and earthquake motions caused by seismic events.

Since the bolts have been embedded -- ranging from 9 to 14 feet deep -- in the reinforced concrete bridge piers, it would be extremely difficult and expensive to remove and replace the broken bolts without affecting the structural integrity of the piers and superstructure.

I hope Caltrans will work closely with the structural, metallurgical and materials engineering experts to develop a structurally sound solution, equivalent to that called for in the original design, within a reasonable time frame.

Meeting the originally scheduled traffic opening date, this year's Labor Day, to sacrifice engineering quality and public safety is unacceptable.

Nai J. Leong

Concord

'Resurrect' those who built bridges in 1930s

Can we somehow resurrect those who built the Golden Gate and the Bay bridges in the early 1930s in three to four years, substantially within budget, sans computers?

It has taken 11 years (and counting) to construct our new span -- just half the length of the original Bay Bridge. And this current crew has thus far gone over budget by 300 to 400 percent.

The prime purpose of the new Bay Bridge was seismic safety.

The large bolts that now show a more than 30 percent failure rate are a critical element for seismic safety.

The forum question should be, "Why should we have confidence in the safety of the new span?"

Where was quality control?

The probable cause of bolt failure is 100-year-old science and the omission of vital pre-installation testing.

Suggestion: Leave the old Bay Bridge as a backup until after two large earthquakes. The span is too important to bank on fond hopes that the new structure will not collapse, as did the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington, shortly after construction in the 1930s, because of fatal flaws in design and construction.

Joe Moran

Orinda

No confidence in the new span

As long as there are any Chinese-manufactured elements in the new Bay Bridge structure, I will be afraid to use it.

I would worry that I might not be as lucky as I was in March 1999 when using the steel-and-concrete Rainbow Bridge over the Qijiang River near Chongqing, China. It collapsed one hour after the taxi to the airport my wife and I were in. According to the official Xinhua News Agency, six major bridges collapsed in China in the last two years.

Considering the builders' negligence in construction and testing of the new Bay Bridge span, I have no confidence at all in its safety!

Yan S. Pawlak

Clayton

Too many safety questions remain

Judging by the problems with the steel bolts on the new Bay Bridge span, it may be less safe than before.

But how will we ever know unless we have another quake the magnitude of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake? If it doesn't hold up, then it's too late!

Did Caltrans forgo quality for price? It must have trimmed the costs on major steel purchases, resulting in the broken bolts.

Caltrans needs some new, more capable managers in order to right this wrong. Perhaps another agency should be involved in making the decision of reinforcing the steel bolts or replacing them before the bridge is reopened.

More testing of the steel components should be done.

Who is responsible for the inferior steel purchase? American Bridge Fluor, subcontractor Dyson Corp., or Caltrans inspectors for allowing the rushing of test schedules?

Did meeting a construction schedule become more important to Caltrans than providing the highest-quality materials necessary for building a bridge structure that wouldn't collapse during an earthquake?

I doubt if bridge users will feel secure driving over the new bridge, especially after a major earthquake hits again.

Edna Fernandez

Livermore