Bay Bridge

Bill to examine Bay Bridge drops transparency restrictions

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.

On Tuesday, Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, author of SB 110, removed provisions that would have exempted the panel, formed by the state Legislative Analyst's Office, from opening its meetings and records to the public. The California Newspaper Publishers Association, Consumer Attorneys of California, and members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee had objected to the provisions.

After DeSaulnier's move, those groups voiced support for the bill, and the committee voted to support it.

The expert panel was formed to address concerns raised in The Bee about the foundation of the bridge's tower. Its role would grow to address concerns about broken bolts and other defects, with a goal of issuing a report ahead of the new span's opening date, which is under review.

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

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