October 24, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Thousands of steel tendons used to strengthen the skyway portion of the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge were exposed during construction to rainfall and salty bay mist, leading to corrosion concerns.
The Sacramento Bee reports that California Department of Transportation engineers in 2006 discovered that the ducts containing the tendons had been left unsealed, exposing the steel tendons.
Caltrans examined hundreds of the tendons and said it found little significant corrosion, but experts who reviewed the study raised questions about the agency's testing methods.
University of California, Berkeley engineering professor Thomas Devine told the Bee that Caltrans' tendon tests were inadequate.
Most experts agreed the mistake wouldn't result in a bridge collapse during a quake, but could make portions of the skyway unusable after a temblor.