No sooner did we get a rain storm for the first time in forever, the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge now has a leak problem. It seems that water is seeping from somewhere on the road deck into the steel structure beneath it, which is supposed to be watertight, and experts say this will cause corrosion if it isn't fixed.
As the Chron reports, bridge workers first noticed water seepage below the roadway of the suspension part of the span back in December, but they've been waiting for a "monsoon" like we had over the weekend to better understand where and how the water was leaking in. There's something to do with the method used to apply caulk along the edge of the roadway at the guardrails, and some kind of shortcut used by the contractor that metallurgy experts say is going to cost us all big time in the long run. Inspections over the weekend were expected to reveal the root cause of the leaks.
The possibility of corrosion is all the worse because the steel "backbone" structure underneath the roadway can't really be repaired. And this thing was supposed to last us 150 years.
Bridge and Caltrans reps are all downplaying the situation and saying that it can and will be fixed over the "shakeout period" of the next five years, but other alarmists contacted by the Chron are calling this a "huge blunder" and a "big problem."