Caltrans keeps close eye on Bay Bridge during storm

November 20, 2009 7:56:00 PM PST
Friday's storm got plenty of attention from Caltrans. Ever since that eyebar failed and tons of metal crashed onto the Bay Bridge, windy weather is a new cause for concern.

But this time, Caltrans has figured out a new way to keep a close eye on the repair job.

With only a mouse click, Caltrans inspectors can now see what's going on high above the Bay Bridge upper deck.

When the first eyebar repair failed, 5,000 pounds of steel came crashing down while the new repair was installed. So were three cameras, giving inspectors access they wouldn't otherwise have, 24 hours a day.

"Well if they see something they'll take a look at it. We'll take a lane and we'll send them out there, they'll go up and take a peek," said Bart Ney from Caltrans.

As for the other headache on the Bay Bridge, the S-curve, Caltrans has been closing one lane of traffic during non-commute hours to slow people down. Those lane closures will be suspended from Wednesday through Friday for the thanksgiving holiday.

The reason: traffic patterns are different on holidays. Caltrans says it has nothing to do with expensive overtime for workers.

"The last thing we want to do is put a closure in there when traffic's already slow. Because that just slows everybody down. But it's not related to overtime costs? It's not related to overtime costs, no," said Ney.

And new radar signs are on their way next week and permanent replacements for the temporaries now in place. But they won't flash your speed -- instead they'll just tell you to slow down if you're going too fast.

"We do gun the traffic and if you're going over a certain threshold the sign flashes slow, slow, slow and the drivers have a reaction and slow down," said

"We do gun the traffic and if you're going over a certain threshold the sign flashes slow, slow, slow and the drivers have a reaction and slow down," said Amjad Mahmood from San Francisco.

Caltrans says it still reserves the right to come out and close a lane approach on the approach to the S-curve during the Thanksgiving holiday, if they get a call saying that traffic is moving too fast.


Load Comments