California Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, said Tuesday that he would deliver findings from his investigation of Bay Bridge construction issues to state Attorney General Kamala Harris to request a criminal investigation of actions by the California Department of Transportation and some of its contractors.

A technical review of the Bay Bridge, released Thursday, provided a mixed review of problems facing the new span – praising some actions by the Caltrans and questioning others.

A California Senate report released Thursday said that Caltrans “gagged and banished” at least nine top experts for the new Bay Bridge after they complained about substandard work by the Shanghai, China, firm that built much of the span.

State Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, is calling for a criminal investigation into construction problems on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and said the release this week of a Senate investigative report will show how the California Department of Transportation knowingly accepted substandard work at taxpayer expense.

Caltrans allowed cracks in the roadway of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, contrary to the welding code, and officials neglected to study the impact of a major earthquake on the cracks. A new analysis suggests the cracks pose a threat to public safety.

Caltrans’ decision to hire an inexperienced Chinese company, unaccustomed to the rigor of American construction rules, to fabricate the suspension span’s signature tower and roadway partly explains why costs ballooned to $6.5 billion and misgivings about the quality of the bridge persist. Caltrans continued to bet on ZPMC by relaxing U.S. standards when the company couldn’t finish the job fast enough.

The anchor rods that hold in place strands of the main cable of the $6.5 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge have a new problem: They are skewed off-center inside holes of the steel plate to which they are secured.

The California Department of Transportation released today its long-promised assessment of maintenance issues facing the new $6.5 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge – concluding that apart from ongoing tests of anchor rods, no concerns exist.

Elected officials have called for an independent review of corrosion inside the new $6.5 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Some of the most vulnerable and integral cable sections and rods on the new $6.5 billion Bay Bridge are rusting. A Sacramento Bee investigation found corroded cable strands and anchor rods inside supposedly sealed chambers that protect attachments for the main suspension span cable to the bridge deck girders. Experts said if corrosion worsens, it could lead to catastrophic damage well ahead of the planned 150-year service life of the bridge.

Demolition crews remove the upper road deck of the retired eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Friday.

The California Highway Patrol has opened an investigation into the handling of the welds on the new San Francisco Bay Bridge.

At a technical briefing Wednesday, the California Department of Transportation addressed the findings from an independent study about the anchor bolts and rods that snapped last March and acknowledged for the first time that some of the concerns have merit.

An independent review of the California Department of Transportation, released Thursday, called for sweeping reforms of the department to improve mobility in the face of environmental challenges and a decline in the number of miles driven by Californians.

Former quality control managers for the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge told a legislative committee Friday that Tony Anziano, head of the $6.4 billion project, pushed to compromise on quality in a rush to complete the long-delayed project.

A report released by the California Senate on Wednesday provides new details about construction lapses on the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The top oversight official for construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge rejected independent engineers’ concerns that key anchor rods were improperly evaluated and remain at risk, but announced a public forum to discuss lingering doubts.

Bay Bridge officials said Wednesday that the retrofit for broken anchor rods on the eastern pier of the new suspension span had been completed. Custom steel saddles replaced the function of the rods, which snapped in March after being placed under tension. The cost of the retrofit was about $25 million.

A new report questions conclusions by transporation officials about the reliability of key anchor rods on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Years late, billions over budget, riddled with construction errors – but also stunning, iconic, beautiful –the new eastern span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge finally opened to regular traffic Monday night.

This was not the opening that California state officials once envisioned, with little fanfare and no public celebration. But then, neither was this project – the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge finally opening years late and billions of dollars over budget.

The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will close for construction for the fifth time this Labor Day weekend, forcing drivers around the bay to find alternative routes.

Drivers, get ready for something new by the bay.

State transportation officials said Thursday they will open the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge after the Labor Day weekend as originally planned, despite a broken-bolt problem that threatened to delay the troubled project's opening.

If, and when, the Legislature ever bestirs itself to really find out how the Bay Bridge project became an embarrassing debacle, it should begin with listening to Bent Flyvbjerg.

The Bay Bridge fiasco – or scandal – is entering the inevitable finger-pointing phase.

Transportation officials will announce on Monday their decision about whether to delay the planned opening of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge.

A proposed law to expand the role of an expert panel studying construction and testing concerns for the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will be amended to increase public access to the panel's work.

A Bay Area lawmaker expressed frustration Friday about a response from a top transportation official to concerns about the influence of incentives to contractors building the new Bay Bridge.

State transportation officials must decide by July 10 whether they can meet the scheduled Labor Day weekend opening for the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It is a decision that obviously must be driven by safety considerations – not by financial incentives offered to contractors working on the bridge.

California Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, chairman of the Transportation and Housing Committee, on Wednesday introduced a revision of Senate Bill 110 to expand the scope of an expert panel examining questions facing the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Bay Area members of the California Assembly and Senate formally requested that officials responsible for the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge disclose any incentives promised to the span's builders if it opens as proposed on Labor Day weekend.

In an email last week to California Department of Transportation employees, agency Director Malcolm Dougherty mischaracterized the status of several controversies involving faulty materials, construction and testing on the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Transportation officials faced tough questions Wednesday about broken bolts, corroded tendons and bad welds on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and announced that any decision to open the span on Labor Day weekend will not come until July.

Caltrans hired a single independent corrosion expert, professor Alberto Sagues of the University of South Florida, to review the adequacy of the agency's study of skyway tendons. A Bee comparison of that study against the construction record shows that Caltrans did not give Sagues a complete and accurate accounting. Other corrosion experts said the discrepancies cast doubt on Sagues' conclusions.

Three samples from inspector's diaries.

The Sacramento Bee spoke with numerous U.S. and European experts about tendon corrosion and related construction issues. The following summarizes some of the engineering and professional credentials of those quoted or referenced.

Experts say that while a total collapse seems unlikely, if Caltrans miscalculated corrosion estimates a major quake could cripple sections of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The Bee's ongoing investigation into California Department of Transportation testing and construction has prompted changes in how state government safeguards bridges and roadways.

Joel Sayre, a former spokesman for the Bay Bridge project, brought concerns about corroded skyway tendons to The Bee in November 2011.

Corroded tendons were one of many problems that have plagued the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge since its inception.

Frustrated state senators pressed California Department of Transportation officials at a Tuesday hearing about how they will deal with thousands of suspect steel parts in the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which were installed even though they had not met specifications.

Fundraising for the opening bash planned for the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge – scheduled for the Labor Day weekend – has been suspended. That's the clearest indication yet that the new span's cracked bolts and other problems pose serious risks to a safe opening of this bridge.

Some of the experts asked to conduct a technical review of the tower foundation for the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge have current or recent financial and professional ties to the California Department of Transportation and Bay Bridge contractors.

Transportation officials said Wednesday that they hope to announce on May 8 the cost and timing estimates for retrofitting the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Transportation officials said Wednesday that they hope to announce on May 8 the cost and timing estimates for retrofitting and repairing the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Some steel anchor bolts produced in 2010 for the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge failed the same quality tests as bolts manufactured in 2008, which broke last month.

A year before Ohio-based Dyson Corp. supplied the giant bolts that recently ruptured on the new Bay Bridge, a California Department of Transportation auditor flagged the firm for deficiencies in related areas.

Transportation officials said Wednesday that they still do not know whether the new Bay Bridge will open as scheduled, or how they will solve the problem of broken bolts that were used despite having failed some quality tests.

The firing of a former engineering supervisor for the California Department of Transportation, whose unit was involved in falsification of test data for foundations of state bridges, was upheld Thursday by the State Personnel Board.

The California Department of Transportation said Monday that it was reviewing whether the large bolts that broke last month on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge had failed quality-control tests by the agency's materials lab.

In an investigation released Thursday, the Bureau of State Audits sharply criticized the California Department of Transportation for numerous lapses in managing a unit that tests foundations of bridges and other freeway structures to verify their soundness and safety.

California Department of Transportation officials are developing a work-around to secure vital seismic stabilization equipment after heavy-duty bolts broke on the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, project manager Tony Anziano told the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Wednesday.

Fixing broken bolts that are key to the Bay Bridge's ability to withstand a seismic shock will take months but should not delay its opening, California Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday.

A recently released California Department of Transportation investigation, which concluded that testing errors and falsifications of data did not affect the safety of state bridges, revealed for the first time that improprieties extended beyond one rogue technician.

An analysis from a team of California Department of Transportation experts, released Thursday after more than a year of preparation, confirmed data problems involving radiation-based tests of reinforced concrete foundations for nine bridges or other freeway structures, including the Benicia-Martinez Bridge.

The Brown administration said Friday it has ordered heightened review of future state public relations contracts, after the revelation of a nearly $10 million deal officials said they knew nothing about.

State officials overseeing construction of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge agreed this year to pay a public relations company nearly $10 million for services the Brown administration says it knew nothing about, including hundreds of thousands of dollars to conduct tours and to produce a video and commemorative book.

After months of publicly defending the work and secretive process of a panel investigating the testing and safety of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the California Department of Transportation agreed Wednesday to allow greater public scrutiny.

Brian Liebich, fired last year from his job as manager of a Caltrans unit that tests bridge foundations, began a courtroom battle Wednesday to recover his reputation and his job before a State Personnel Board administrative law judge.

Three state senators initiated an independent examination Tuesday into construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge after problems were discovered within Caltrans' testing program.

As he came to the defense of Caltrans recently, Gov. Jerry Brown derided The Bee for having the audacity to question testing of the foundation for the new $6.5 billion Bay Bridge and other vital links in California's transportation system.

A special team within Caltrans has uncovered problems with safety testing far broader than previously known.

A Bee review of the more than 9,000 Caltrans data files created during tests of foundation piles of freeway structures found a new kind of problem that has not been publicly acknowledged by Caltrans officials: missing data readings.

Unspecified testing data irregularities were found involving reinforced concrete piles 2 and 5 of the unopened eastern span main tower foundation, which has 13 piles in all.

The Bee first reported last November that a Caltrans employee falsified data on radiation tests of foundations of freeway structures, and conducted tests on foundation piles of the new Bay Bridge main tower foundation without ensuring the accuracy of his equipment. Since then Caltrans has responded to concerns about the gamma-gamma radiation tests and complementary sonic-wave tests in sometimes contradictory ways:

View of a map of bridges throughout the state that are being investigated for irregularities in the test data for their foundations.

Gov. Jerry Brown defended the state's construction and oversight of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Thursday, saying he's been told that a Bee investigation raising questions about the bridge's structural integrity "borders on malpractice."

The Assembly Transportation Committee on Monday approved an amended version of Senate Bill 878 that would order the California Transportation Commission to examine whether an inspector general should be established to oversee state transportation agencies.

Concrete isn't a topic most journalists would choose to cover.

The Sacramento Bee announced today that it rejected the request from the California Department of Transportation to retract a story raising questions about the structural integrity of a foundation of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

The Sacramento Bee has rejected a request from Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty to retract its story raising questions about the structural integrity of a foundation of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Here is a fact check, reviewing point-by-point, the request received from Caltrans.

The Sacramento Bee has rejected a request from Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty to retract its story raising questions about the structural integrity of a foundation of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Here is a fact check of what The Bee believes to be the most crucial points made by Caltrans in its retraction request.

The California Department of Transportation on Friday called "completely inaccurate" a Bee investigation that raised questions about the structural integrity of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and the agency's director publicly requested a retraction.

The director of the California Department of Transportation said Tuesday he would consult with independent experts from outside his agency about testing and construction concerns involving the foundation of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

A builder of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge failed to disclose that a 19-foot section of concrete in the foundation of the span's signature tower had not hardened before it was tested.

The California Senate Transportation Committee announced Tuesday that it will hold a public hearing on the use of expert advisers by the state Department of Transportation.

Leading engineering advisers, who met in secret to assess the testing and safety of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, maintain numerous financial and professional ties to the agency whose work they evaluate.

An expert engineering panel has concluded that the foundation of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge is safe and sound, according to its report released Friday.

Duane Wiles, recently fired by the California Department of Transportation for fabricating bridge tests, has been allowed to resign instead.

Brian Liebich, the fired manager of the state Department of Transportation unit that tested the foundation of the new Bay Bridge, has denied any wrongdoing and says he has been made a scapegoat.

The American Council of Engineering Companies of California has put up a YouTube post to promote its take on questions raised by The Bee concerning structural tests of the Bay Bridge's new span.

Caltrans technician Duane Wiles, who falsified test data on the structural integrity of freeway structures, was sanctioned by the state Department of Transportation in 2000 for numerous serious workplace violations, including "inexcusable neglect of duty," yet was retained as a technician until last month.

The Caltrans worker fired last month following allegations that he falsified structural integrity test reports was booted from state service before, but a state board overturned that firing after determining it resulted from "a one-time lapse in judgment."

At a legislative oversight hearing Wednesday, California Department of Transportation officials said that they were working to rectify management and data-security problems that have called into question the reliability of the new Bay Bridge and other freeway structures.

The chairman of the state Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on Tuesday called on Attorney General Kamala Harris to open a criminal investigation into the practices of the California Department of Transportation's Foundation Testing Branch.

A federal investigation has found that two Caltrans employees recently fired over problems in the agency's unit that tests underground foundations for bridges were involved in the theft of construction materials owned by the state and federal governments.

In a sometimes contentious legislative hearing Tuesday, state senators told California Department of Transportation officials that their management of data falsification by a technician in one of the agency's testing units suggests pervasive management problems.

Caltrans released thousands of pages of new information Monday about data fabrications and other problems in its Foundation Testing Branch, a unit that examines the underground supports for bridges and other freeway structures in California.

A few months back Charles Piller and his editor, Scott Lebar, wandered into my office to tell me Piller had discovered concerns about the safety testing on the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Bay Area transportation commissioners said Wednesday that Caltrans has much to explain about why it failed to notify other officials that a technician who had fabricated test data on several structures also tested the new Bay Bridge.

The Bee's Sunday report that a state worker violated key procedures while testing support structures for the new Bay Bridge span and other projects raises anew the question: Should California privatize more of its infrastructure work?

A state oversight committee announced Tuesday that it had requested a formal review of the foundation of the new Bay Bridge tower by the state's Seismic Safety Peer Review Panel.

Inspecting bridges and freeways in quake-prone California is arguably the most crucial work Caltrans performs. These inspections not only safeguard lives now and in the immediate future, but for an engineering project like the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, they provide a safety factor that is expected to last for decades.

Caltrans fired two employees who were implicated in problems involving the tests of the Bay Bridge and other freeway structures throughout California, as reported in a Bee investigation Sunday.

A Bee investigation has found that the state Department of Transportation technician who conducted key testing to ensure structural integrity of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge eastern span's foundation was later disciplined for fabricating test results on other projects.

Caltrans tests the underground steel and concrete supports piles that support bridges and other freeway structures to ensure against construction defects. Use our interactive map to view some of the structures that have suspect test records.

At least two agencies have been investigating Caltrans' Foundation Testing Branch - whose technician, Duane Wiles, falsified bridge tests - for financial fraud.

Once it is rebuilt, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will be an iconic structure whose majesty should give all Californians a deep sense of pride.

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