14 June 2012
California’s department of transportation, Caltrans, is to hold a webinar in response to local media claims about the safety of the new structure.
The webinar on the engineering, construction and safety of the Bay Bridge will take place at 10am local time on Friday 15 June on the project website baybridgeinfo.org
The decision follows articles in the local media suggesting that there had been improper testing and possible structural weaknesses in the foundation concrete.
Caltrans said that the webinar will give the public the opportunity to hear directly from bridge engineers and experts about important project details, including protocols required to ensure the highest level of seismic safety.
It had already called for the claims to be retracted and published its letter to the Sacramento Bee. "A Caltrans review of the Bee's assertions has determined that they are completely accurate," said director Malcolm Dougherty. "Every part of the new span has been thoroughly tested by expert engineers and independent experts who have determined that the bridge is safe and sound."
He said that the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge meets or exceeds all safety standards.
"Every concrete pile in the new bridge's tower foundation has passed three rigorous, mandatory safety tests," he said. " The tower foundations were designed to exceed normal safety standards. Every aspect of the bridge has been tested, checked and rechecked multiple times. These tests were reviewed by a panel of internationally renowned experts who have confirmed the integrity and seismic safety of the bridge."
The cable for the record-breaking self-anchored suspension span has recently been completed.