Track Bay Bridge construction on Google Earth

(Google Earth)
February 5, 2010 1:39:12 PM PST
People who use Google Earth are now able to view the ongoing construction of the Bay Bridge's new self-anchored suspension span to monitor the construction process, Caltrans officials announced today.

Users of the program, which allows people to pinpoint locations around the world using satellite imagery and maps, can see which parts of the bridge have been lifted into place.

The first shipment of parts arrived from China last month, and the first deck section of the span was hoisted into place earlier this week.

Sections of the new span will appear in Google Earth soon after they are lifted into place. Deck and tower sections that are being lifted will appear green on the program, and will turn solid after they are in place, while the remainder of the span will remain transparent.

Using a "3D Buildings" layer of the program, Google Earth users can see the bridge from any angle, including "driving" across the not-yet constructed, side-by-side decks of the new eastern span, or climbing the bridge's new 525-foot tower.

Users can also click on the bridge to visit the project's Web site, www.baybridgeinfo.org, to find real-time information on each part of the bridge that is being lifted, as well as videos and photos of the construction process.

Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said in a statement that "Google Earth's immersive environment combined with the in-depth media we're going to provide on baybridgeinfo.org will be the next best thing to being there."

Caltrans hopes to have the new eastern span open to traffic in 2013.


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