Politics & Government

Bay Bridge officials want to leave old piers

Piers of the eastern end of the original Bay Bridge span, shown Thursday, may be left in place after the historic 1930s-era bridge is demolished.
Piers of the eastern end of the original Bay Bridge span, shown Thursday, may be left in place after the historic 1930s-era bridge is demolished. Terray Sylvester

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – San Francisco Bay Area transportation officials are proposing leaving parts of the old Bay Bridge standing to cut costs on demolition.

The $6.5 billion project that replaced the original 1930s-era Bay Bridge is already well over budget. The local Metropolitan Transportation Commission now is considering trimming more than $12 million in costs by leaving several piers of the old bridge in the San Francisco Bay, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday (http://bit.ly/1z3GClv ).

Officials are considering re-using a half-dozen of the old piers near the Port of Oakland as a park, transportation commission spokesman Randy Rentschler said.

Authorities also are studying leaving the main pier near Treasure Island as a memorial to the original Bay Bridge, Rentschler said. “The motivation here, while it almost certainly would save us money, is to create something that is going to look like sculptured art on the bay,” he said.

The plan would require modification of existing agreements with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, bay conservation officials and others about removing the old bridge.

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