More problems for new Bay Bridge span

There are more problems on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge -- a flaw that could damage the main cable.
There are more problems on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge -- a flaw that could damage the main cable and some believe that could cause major problems during an earthquake.

The main cable coming off of the tower splays off into smaller bundles of cable that are anchored under the platform. But the bundles are attached to rods and threaded through a support wall, and that's where the problem is.

Two hundred seventy four anchor rods that hold the Bay Bridge's main cable in place are threaded through a support wall. But 205 of them are misaligned.

"Some of the rods are off centered and they're touching the edges of the hole that it's going through," Bay Bridge spokesperson Victor Gauthier said.

Gautier says an earthquake could cause friction and damage the rods, but the problem can be fixed.

"It doesn't present any risk to the seismic performance of the bridge, nor will it interfere with the 150 year life span of the bridge," he said.

But 85 percent of the rods are off center, and UC Berkeley structural engineering Professor Hassan Astaneh says Caltrans is downplaying the seriousness of the problem.

"Usually in construction if you are off 5 percent off your operation, you can prove that it's OK," he said. "But its unheard of that out of 270 rods, 205 of them are off, which means they are creating larger stresses."

Caltrans says it'll take months and millions of dollars to fix it. But there's no date on when that work will begin.
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traffic bay bridge caltrans earthquake Oakland San Francisco
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