UC Berkeley structural engineer professor Abolhassan Astaneh has some urgent words for the Bay Area. Specifically, he's calling for the shut down of the Bay Bridge. Now. Soon. Just do it, he says. Ever since the new S-curve opened, the Bay Bridge has seen numerous accidents, including yesterday's big rig fatality. And a UCB smartypants is demanding the bridge's closure.
"You have to shut down this bridge immediately," Professor Astaneh tells KTVU."There's no doubt about it ... If Caltrans lets the public go on that bridge, they are committing a violation of this national standard that is criminally negligent."
When asked about the new S-curve, Astaneh doesn't hold back. "This is the most...how do I put it? The most criminally negligent thing that any engineer can do; to put sharp curves in the middle of a straight bridge." (He suggests pruning down the five lanes on the bridge to just three at the S-curve "to give room to smooth out the curves for drivers.)
But wait, it gets worse.
Putting aside the S-curve controversy and recent cable rod snap, which promoted the bridge's closure in October, the real danger is the eyebar fix. Astaneh claims that "the repair means the bridge is vulnerable and that it cannot withstand 85 mph winds or a 7.3 magnitude earthquake as required under federal transportation guidelines."
Should we shut the thing down? Take our poll below to find out.