Oakland – Caltrans’ removal of the original east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge continues today with the lowering of the fourth of five 504-foot trusses. As demolition progresses, Caltrans’ focus remains on public safety and protection of the environment.
Unlike the building methods used during the original construction of the Old Bay Bridge, today’s lowering process is extensive, taking into account safety and environmental stewardship factors not considered when the bridge was built in 1935.
The 504-foot truss must be lowered, and then set down on barges to be transported to the Port of Oakland for disassembly. During the process, contractors will be working closely with a bird deterrence contractor and engineers to coordinate activities.
This operation is highly weather-dependent, and is expected to take two days, with an anticipated 12 to 14 hours of work, each day. High winds could cause schedule changes. The operation may be completed in one day, if weather cooperates.
“Although we have already successfully completed this truss lowering operation on three recent occasions, we are diligent in our continued commitment to safety and the environment.” explained Chief Bridge Engineer, Brian Maroney.
Two live streams (displayed above) allow for public viewing during the operation. Caltrans encourages the public to use this method for observing the operation. The bike path will be closed during the operation.
Yerba Buena Island camera: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm-wXGyG0tHq4NAco-TzKRg/live
Bike path camera: http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCky7z7aBl7uEwHDLhMtsgsw/live
The lowering of these five 504-foot trusses is the second part in a three-part process to dismantle the Old Bay Bridge. Phase I was completed at the end of 2015, with the demolition of the cantilever section and S-curve to Yerba Buena Island.
The final phase will involve the dismantling of 14 288-foot truss span sections that extend to the Oakland shore — a completely different engineering challenge from the removal of the 504-foot trusses.
Caltrans, contractors and partners are diligently planning for the successful removal of the first of these 14 288-foot truss sections, the removal of which will require consideration of varied marine foundations and water depth.
More information about the Phase III removal process will be shared as the demolition work continues.