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Bridge fixes, Caltrans spin-doctoring go full bore

Monday, August 26, 2013

Just how desperate is Caltrans to create a little positive news in advance of the big day Sept. 3 when the Bay Bridge eastern span opens with its “temporary fixes”? Chief engineer Brian Maroney says he’s pleased so far with lab tests which indicate that hundreds of at-risk steel fasteners might not have to be replaced, after all, even while cautioning that “it’s too early to draw conclusions.” (Then isn’t it too early for public spin-doctoring?)

The Chronicle’s Jaxon Van Derbeken balances things out with this quote from outside expert Russ Kane:

"It's really hard and requires of lot of thought and luck to re-create the field situation in a laboratory - I have spent 30 years doing it. Sometimes you can't get it to fail, no matter what you do. You have to know all the variables. In complex, engineered structures, it's impossible to know all the variables."

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