by Eric Wuestewald
After rusted suspension cables, critical engineering flaws, a million dollar repainting job, and a substantial bird population, you'd be justified in thinking nothing else could possibly go wrong with the Bay Bridge. Well, time to add another problem to the list.
As the Chron reported today, almost all of the 423 steel rods anchoring the bridge's tower to its base have been bathing in potentially corrosive water.
Prior to the new span's opening, several of the steel rods responsible for stabilizing for earthquakes snapped under tension. Already, fixing those rods has cost toll payers $25 million, with another $20 million spent on testing.
Caltrans had apparently known about rust and signs of corrosion on the steel rods since 2011, but no one had bothered to follow up. Of the affected rods, 95% have one to two inches of water in pockets separated by grout. Unfortunately, 17 of the rods weren't given enough grout and are now covered in gallons of water.
On the plus side, while it may never work properly, at least we can all agree the bridge sure looks pretty.