The Gloomy Gate

In late October, MCM Construction, Inc. and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) finally knew they had a lead in resolving a potentially deadly break in the 73-year-old San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Earlier in the year, during Labor Day weekend, eyebar cracking was discovered. Setbacks occurred as MCM, Caltrans, and others worked to resolve resulting safety issues. But on that day in October, wind-induced movement caused steel-on-steel contact involving the tie rods and saddle plates. A tie rod snapped and caused a 5,000 pound chunk of debris to fall onto rush-hour traffic. Damage survey allowed Caltrans to develop five key objectives: ensure safety by replacing all four tie rods that formed the Labor Day brace and wrap; ensure tie rods were well centered and remained in place; ensure the risk of steel contact was minimized by modifying the holes in the saddle support brackets; ensure the tie rods were kept securely in place, even under high winds, by installing vibration-dampening devices; and ensure the unit as a whole was much stronger that what was previously in place by strengthening the welds on the entire system. The author provides detail on how this was accomplished.


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01150638
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jan 31 2010 2:00PM