Bay Bridge

Expanded role to examine Bay Bridge problems proposed for LAO panel

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.

The panel was assembled early this year by the Legislative Analyst's Office to address the structural stability of the foundation of the new span's iconic tower. Bee investigations found construction and testing problems for that foundation, and conflicts of interest among members of a Caltrans review panel that approved it.

SB 110 – to be addressed by the Legislature in coming weeks – would allow the LAO panelists to examine recently discovered problems with broken and suspect bolts. The group also could add other construction matters, such as corroded tendons in the span's skyway viaduct.

"The scope of this group, assuming this legislation would pass, is to look at the known questions that have been raised, as well as anything else the experts feel is relevant to the bridge and its performance in an earthquake," LAO transportation analyst Jessica Peters said in an interview.

Call The Bee's Charles Piller, (916) 321-1113. Follow him on Twitter @cpiller.