Bay Bridge

CHP report cost $823,000

The Self-Anchored Suspension Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge taken from Treasure Island on June 19, 2014. The CHP investigation of the new bridge released this month cost about $823,000.
The Self-Anchored Suspension Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge taken from Treasure Island on June 19, 2014. The CHP investigation of the new bridge released this month cost about $823,000. mcrisostomo@sacbee.com

The California Highway Patrol investigation of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge released this month – which found no illegality or retaliation against engineers who complained about construction defects – cost about $823,000.

Work on the 33-page investigative report began early this year and involved 13 officers, including a captain, two lieutenants and six sergeants who worked nearly 13,000 hours, including 1,500 overtime hours, according to CHP spokeswoman Fran Clader. The report criticized Caltrans for communication and documentation lapses, but found no violation of law.

The probe was ordered by Brian Kelly, secretary of the California Transportation Agency, after witnesses at a January state Senate hearing alleged wrongdoing by California Department of Transportation executives. This included claims that Tony Anziano, the top bridge official, attempted to cover up potentially embarrassing information. A Sacramento Bee investigation published in June quoted Caltrans documents that supported some of the claims.

An earlier 64-page Senate report included interviews with many of the same witnesses contacted by the CHP and detailed evidence of wrongdoing that led to the CHP investigation. That effort was researched and written by a single contractor, investigative reporter Roland De Wolk. Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, who chairs the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and requested the De Wolk report, has referred the matter to Attorney General Kamala Harris with a recommendation that she launch a criminal investigation.

Charles Piller

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