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Last Old Bay Bridge Truss Removed

Adapted from a Caltrans release.

Caltrans’ ongoing project to demolish the original East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reached a historic milestone in late March 2017 when the final 1.7-million-pound steel truss section of the old Bay Bridge was lowered, completely disassembled and recycled as part of the Old Bay Bridge alignment. 

In all, Caltrans has removed more than 100 million pounds of steel in this second phase of the demolition, including five 500-foot trusses stretching approximately a half mile between the Oakland shoreline and Yerba Buena Island, and another 14 288-foot trusses extending three-quarters of a mile. Some of the steel salvaged from the demolition is being repurposed as art and architecture projects under a program managed by the Oakland Museum of California. 

Demolition of the nearly two-mile long original East Span has been taking place in three phases with crews carefully dismantling the 77-year old East Span section-by-section, in roughly the reverse order of how it was built in the mid-1930s. In the first phase, crews initially worked in the westward direction, toward Yerba Buena Island, taking apart the cantilever section and demolishing the S-Curve. The second phase included moving east to dismantle the 504-foot and the 288-foot truss spans that stretched east of the cantilever to the Oakland shore. The third phase will entail removing the piers and pilings and then extracting the marine foundations that supported the original span down to the mud line. When the entire demolition of the old Bay Bridge is complete, over 58,000 tons of steel and 245,000 tons of concrete will have been removed.

"This is a tremendous milestone that marks the completion of the safe removal of the 'high steel' that [made up the] East Span. We are extremely proud of our contractor (CEC Silverado), engineers, environmental scientists and other staff for working so well together to complete this very challenging work, more than two years ahead of schedule and under budget. Our focus now is removing the remaining foundations," said Caltrans Chief Bay Bridge Engineer Brian Maroney.

Extensive monitoring and mitigation efforts will continue through the total completion of demolition, as the environmental team continues to work alongside crews to ensure the safe dismantling of the original East Span. Caltrans is exploring options to complete the demolition by the end of 2017. MTC's Bay Area Toll Authority is covering the cost of the demolition. 

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