Remove all Democrats from state government
If ever there was a reason to remove Gov. Jerry Brown and the Democratic California Legislature, the Bay Bridge fiasco, loaded with corruption and indifference, is a prime incentive to do so.
All the problems cited in the Sunday editorial of this paper can be laid at the feet of the Democrats -- beginning with the massive delays that occurred, even, before construction began. This entire fiasco and endangerment to public safety is a compelling reason to remove from office in November all Democrats in California's government.
Unfortunately, there is a vast pool of Democratic ideologues in California who elect and re-elect Democrats to office in every election cycle without considering all the damage the Democrats have caused, and continue to cause, in the no-longer Golden State.
The more than 40 years of Democrats ruining our state makes no impression on these zealots as they march in route-step to the polls expecting Democrats to create Nirvana in California.
With all its reported flaws, God help those on the Bay Bridge if another magnitude 6.9 earthquake hits the Bay Area.
Speed up independent inquiry into Bay Bridge
The new Bay Bridge is on a collision course with the unenviable legacy of being the biggest structural nightmare in history.
It all started when the powers-that-be selected a design that had never been attempted before. Instead of going with a proven suspension technology, they instead chose to roll the dice on a new, never-been-tested design.
The construction has been one question mark after another. The first red flags arose when the initial delivery of materials from China didn't meet the minimum specifications. Instead of returning the materials, Caltrans rewrote the specifications and began a long series of cover-ups.
Then came news of the faulty welds, broken bolts, and that rust is already developing on the main (and only) supporting cable.
All of this has been consistently swept under the rug by Caltrans and the contractors. Independent engineers, many from the esteemed Cal School of Engineering, are questioning the safety of the bridge.
An independent commission is in order, and should be expedited, before the contract phase is over and the bridge is handed over to Caltrans.
Old span was solid after crews strengthened it
Caltrans analyzed the structural integrity of the east-span of the Bay Bridge for eight years (after Loma Prieta (1989). It concluded either retrofitting or building anew would fully exceed maximum expected earthquake requirements. Caltrans reconfirmed that in 2002.
Brian Maroney, bridge chief engineer, is quoted in the June 7, 2013, of this paper as stating, "When you look at this line graph, it is easy to see why the eastern span failed in 1989." Maroney erred.
The span clearly didn't fail, despite Maroney's line-graph. One 50-foot roadbed section -- just .2 percent of total east-span roadway -- unhinged on one end and tipped to the lower deck. A road section isn't part of structural integrity.
The bridge was back in operation in 30 days and continued daily for 24 years until the new bridge belatedly opened. It was continually strengthened during this time and carried 1,000,000 tons daily (vehicles and people).
The still intact, valuable and iconic east-span skyway section is structurally sound, according to Caltrans' records, and could still be repurposed as a world-class tourist-destination venue.
On with the investigation!
Silly Bay Bridge probe will get a sillier answer
Puh-lease! Of course, the flimsy, flaky bridge should be probed. What a silly question.
And, surely, you must also be aware that if you ask a silly question, then you'll get a silly answer. Thus, I propose that, in addition to probing the bridge, it is essential to extensively probe the overall project manager (a certain Mr. Chuckles the Clown) as well.
This high-priority investigation is necessary to determine whether any of Mr. Clown's key decisions were made with the aid of a brain. The obvious first step in attempting to locate the errant organ -- if, indeed, it exists -- is to hire the best proctologist that money can buy.
Probably too late for bridge investigation
If an independent probe is conducted on the structural safety of the Bay Bridge, it's obvious one of the following findings would be concluded: The Bay Bridge, as constructed, is structurally safe or it is unsafe.
If deemed safe, it would ease many people's mind, but not mine. I've always been skeptical about the bridge's safety in view of the numerous and serious technical issues reported in the media during construction.
However, if deemed unsafe, it would be extremely difficult and very expensive, if not impossible, to implement the fixes to be recommended at the conclusion of the probe. Implementing the fixes may further adversely affect the already questionable structural integrity of the bridge.
For the above reasons, I think it's too late to conduct a probe.
It's not too late, however, for Caltrans to develop a comprehensive plan to closely monitor and properly maintain all components of the bridge to preclude them from acceleration of corrosion resulting from the reported leakage from the bridge deck. This is to prolong a 100-year life for which the span's normally designed.
Nai J. Leong
Get inspectors from abroad, not in the state
Of course, there should be a probe of this collapsible Caltrans structure.
The probe must be carried out by truly independent engineers rather than any that have ever or ever intend to do jobs in the United States. How about structural experts from Germany, Japan, Finland, Sweden, or Canada?
California, the epitome of proudly proclaimed Democratic Socialism, can't be trusted to end the ongoing cover-up and indiscretion in Caltrans' purchasing key components from China.
Have California state officials forgotten, ignored or never known that China is the present flagship of the 1923 Communist Third International declaration meeting, wherein Leon Trotsky, Vladimir Lenin and Josef Stalin announced they were going to take over the whole world, by force if necessary?
The key phrase in this 1923 threat was that "Democratic Socialism" was inevitable.
China's sincerest allies are among us. Our Constitution does not say "democracy" anywhere.
Martin A. Easton
Don't examine bridge; focus on the politics
I don't think there should be an independent probe of the bridge's structural safety. Even if the right, technically competent, motivated people could be found for the "independent probe," I doubt the public would get much useful information.
And if they did, solutions to problems with the strength of thousands of bolts, cracked welds in the suspension span, rusting of the single cable, questionable foundation piles, and weakened steel tendons are likely to be cost prohibitive, if even pragmatically fixable.
But it might be constructive for an independent probe to find out how the political morons who approved the design for the "signature span" went about their disastrous decision-making process, when a total causeway structure would have looked fine and could have been built and maintained at a fraction of the cost of the single-cable span.
Uncovering that flawed decision-making process -- which we and our children will be paying for directly and indirectly through opportunity costs for decades -- and studying lessons learned, might even prevent another political fiasco in-the-making between San Francisco and Los Angeles.