[Carfreeliving] Some Bay Bridge Humor (see where we were in 1999)
bicyclesf at yahoo.com
Sat Apr 2 15:06:07 MST 2005
I have been wondering if it is possible to just retrofit the damn Bay Bridge. Here's what came up when I did a Google search. Enjoy!
(Note: the latest budget figures are $6.2 billion, up from an original $1.3 billion in 1998 and $5.9 billion in August of 2004.)
PS Does anybody know if it is possible to just retrofit at this point?
Fed-Up Mayors Say to Retrofit Bridge Instead
Navy assures approval to rebuild is coming soon
Michael Cabanatuan, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 22, 1999
now part of stylesheet
-->EAST BAY -- As Caltrans and the Navy inched closer yesterday to an agreement allowing plans for a new Bay Bridge to proceed, two East Bay mayors urged scrapping the whole thing and retrofitting the existing eastern span instead.
Berkeley Mayor Shirley Dean and Richmond Mayor Rosemary Corbin called on Caltrans to drop plans to build a new bridge, saying it would be less expensive and safer to strengthen the existing eastern span to withstand a major earthquake.
``I was enthused about the idea of getting a magnificent eastern span, but when they came up with the design of a plain concrete bridge with a blip at the end, I came to the conclusion we should just do the safest and fastest thing and retrofit it,'' Corbin said, referring to the single-tower bridge design. ``How can we, as politicians, put up with any more delay?''
Befuddled Caltrans officials said switching to a retrofit project would accomplish little.
``Retrofitting would be reversing course, going backwards,'' said Caltrans spokesman Colin Jones. ``It wouldn't save us any time or (much) money.''
While the existing eastern span could be retrofitted to resist the kind of collapse it experienced in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Jones said, a strengthened span would not be as strong as a new bridge, would not last as long, and would not include bicycle lanes, views or shoulders.
``There's a whole myriad of benefits,'' Jones said. ``For essentially the same cost, you get a whole new bridge.''
But the mayors, who based their argument on common sense and not technical studies, said they do not believe Caltrans.
``I'll bet you it would be faster and a lot cheaper, too,'' Corbin said. ``I think they should just get on with it.''
Dean was also skeptical, calling on Caltrans to provide proof that a new bridge would be comparable in cost and construction time and stronger than a retrofitting project.
``That, to me, defies logic,'' she said.
Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, who has backed a new Bay Bridge but considers the chosen design too plain an entrance to his city, has not taken a position on retrofitting versus rebuilding and could not be reached for comment yesterday, said Stacey Wells, the mayor's press secretary.
When Caltrans decided in 1997 to replace rather than retrofit the eastern span, it placed the cost of strengthening the eastern span at $900 million compared with rebuilding it for about $1.3 billion. Since then, cosmetic changes and delays have pushed the cost to about $1.6 billion.
bicyclesf at yahoo.com
Acting Executive Director, Walk San Francisco
Advisory Council Member, Bay Area Air Quality Management District
Citizen's Advisory Committee Member, Metropolitian Transportation Agency
Past Chair, SF Bicycle Advisory Committee
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