Bee reporter recognized for series examining Bay Bridge problems

Sacramento Bee investigative reporter Charles Piller has been recognized for excellence in print reporting by California State University, Sacramento’s Center for California Studies for his coverage of construction and management problems that have plagued the $6.5 billion San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project.

Piller was among six journalists honored Friday during the Envisioning California Conference “Moving On: Transforming Transportation in California.” The annual awards ceremony began in 1994 to recognize, encourage and reward excellence in reporting of California state government and politics. This year’s entries reported issues specific to the conference theme, California transportation and policy.

Over the past three years, The Bee has reported on numerous construction lapses on the bridge project. Piller was recognized for “Rusted Cables, Cracked Welds – Trouble on the Iconic Bay Bridge.” The series of stories, published in The Bee in April, June and July, covered investigations of the rusted main cable and anchor bolts based on lab testing that Piller arranged, cracked cables and their potential safety dangers, an overview of the problems and a call for a criminal probe.

The winners received a plaque in recognition of their work, as well as a cash prize.