San Mateo Bridge lane closed until Sunday

October 15, 2010 4:26:11 PM PDT
A westbound lane on the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge will remain closed until Sunday after Caltrans officials decided today to add an additional reinforcement plate beneath the bridge after a crack was discovered during an inspection Wednesday.

It is a furlough Friday for Caltans, so they are not working and the CHP officers said that a part that's needed to continue repairs is on the way.

Underneath the San Mateo Bridge, there is a 30-foot long wishbone-shaped steel beam with a crack just 10 inches long. But that beam is designed to allow the bridge to sway about three feet in the event of an earthquake and it provides some structural strength.

If that beam gives way, Ron Davis of Vallejo wants to be somewhere else.

"I mean if you think about it, I mean, it's not something to really worry about, but I know about it, so I started going through the Dumbarton, so until they fix it I am going to go across the Dumbarton," he said.

Repair crews have already brought out two six foot long steel plates, one for each side of the cracked beam and the part that's still needed and that's holding up the work remains a mystery.

As Caltrans observes a furlough Friday, their spokesman is not available to answer questions.

For commuters, the lane closure was no big deal on Thursday -- they found other ways to get across the bay. But this morning, they seemed to have forgotten about the closed number three lane in the westbound direction just before the rise.

"Yesterday on traffic kept on saying there's delays on the San Mateo Bridge, so everybody did the turnaround and today they didn't care. Time consumption that's what it is," toll collector Angela Chew said.


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