Caltrans repairing corroded spots on Bay Bridge tunnel walls

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- About a year ago, a piece of concrete came down on a driver in the Caltrans repairing corroded spots on Bay Bridge tunnel walls. Finally this morning, Caltrans is working on a fix.

Caltrans said it examined the concrete over the last few months and didn't see an imminent problem that could pose danger, but they have decided it is time to put in a fix.

When you drive through the Yerba Buena Tunnel toward Oakland, you are covered by concrete that is 81-years-old. Pieces of it started breaking off about a year ago. A car hit one chunk that had fallen, causing $3,000 worth of damage. Crews are now working to replace questionable patches of concrete and that has drivers relieved.

RELATED: More damage found to wall in Bay Bridge tunnel

"I live in Antioch and taking family over there to the airport -- little bit reluctant going that way," said Lisa Paniagua, Antioch resident.

Caltrans officials say they did an X-ray of the tunnel after it started breaking apart and found 200 spots that could potentially cause problems.

"Only a fraction of those actually had unsound concrete, but we decide since they are there, just go ahead and be proactive and we are taking care of all 200 areas," said Bob Haus, Caltrans spokesperson.

They'll be doing the work during non-commute daylight hours, so you will see a lane shut down during that time. Drivers say this is good to see, but they would feel better if they could see more pro-active work being done.

RELATED: Caltrans finds series of weak spots in Yerba Buena Tunnel

"The ground is constantly shaking and moving here every day so that bridge needs constant, constant, work and retrofit, even the new bridge," said Gina Tomlinson, Oakland resident.

Caltrans said the state has a lot of bridges that were built in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s -- that have come to the end of their service. They know the work needs to be done, but of course it is a question of funding. The work on the Yerba Buena Tunnel will probably be going on until June.
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