California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the Bay Area Toll Authority said that contractors already working to replace the upper-deck joint will remain on site for the next several months to replace 31 additional original joints on the upper deck of the 63-year-old structure.

Richmond-San Rafael Bridge

Spalling earlier this month had prompted replacement of the joint at Pier 59. The work is expected to be complete by 2 March and will be followed a few days later by the start of nearly identical work on the 31 additional upper deck joints.

In the early 2000s, more than 90% of the bridge’s 856 deck joints were rebuilt as part of the seismic retrofit or through other rehabilitation projects. It was determined at the time that the remaining 61 joints, which are sliding plate joints, did not need to be replaced. The remaining 30 joints on the lower deck will be replaced as part of an upcoming rehabilitation contract later in 2019.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to replace the remaining sliding plate joints on the bridge beginning with those on the upper deck,” said Caltrans District 4 director Tony Tavares. “Caltrans engineers perform regular inspections of the bridge and have reinspected all joints on the bridge in recent weeks. The bridge remains safe and open to the public.”

The most recent inspection of the underside of the upper deck and the upper deck joints was conducted in August 2018. The last inspection of the driving surface on the upper deck was completed in September 2017. Structural integrity issues were not identified in any of the last inspections, said Caltrans.