Bay Bridge Officials Concerned About Rod Corrosion

Thu October 16, 2014 - West Edition

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) State transportation officials are trying to determine if giant steel rods on the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span have been damaged by exposure to water.

Transportation officials said Sept. 25 that inspectors discovered that several of the galvanized steel rods that anchor the 525-ft. (160 m) tower to its base had been sitting in water that could cause corrosion, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Caltrans has drained the water, but officials don’t know how long the rods were exposed to water and whether they were compromised. To check, they would need to remove and cut them into pieces.

It appears the water, most likely from rain, became trapped under caulking before the tower was lowered into position starting in 2010, said Andrew Fremier, deputy executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which oversees the bridge project.

To help determine if the rods were compromised, officials plan to test the water for zinc, which is left behind when hydrogen attacks galvanized steel, Fremier said.