(Jonathan Dinh/Flickr)

Last week, construction crews on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge completed “the big lift,” dramatically shifting the weight of the new single-tower suspension span from temporary supports to a mile-long cable. The new section, set to open next year, is now officially the world’s largest self-anchored suspension span. We’ll talk to some of the architects involved with the project.

More on the New Bay Bridge From KQED Science

Guests:
Donald MacDonald, principal with Donald MacDonald Architects
Clive Endress, senior landscape architect for the California Department of Transportation
Michael Fitzpatrick, bridge architect with T.Y. Lin International
Bart Ney, senior communications manager for the California Department of Transportation

  • Dana Benedict

    How much did this cost? Why did it cost so much, and take so long? How many jobs did the project generate in the US? How many jobs did the project generate in China? How much American steel was used? How much Chinese steel? What sort of quality control was applied to the production of the Chinese steel?

    • Great comment. Your questions are important.

    • $2870056

      Cost? A lot.
      Why so much? Materials and labor for planning and construction.
      Why so long? Human endeavors take time.
      # jobs in US and China? See website for new bridge.
      Source of steel? Much more American than Chinese steel.
      Quality control – applied to both Chinese and American steel – meets American standards for production.

      I have a question. Why does your post read like you are so angry?

      • Adrian

        All valid & necessary questions, asked in a straightforward way. Six and a half billion bucks should be questioned long and hard.

  • Dan Foust

    Please explain to the listeners what a self-anchored suspension bridge is and how it is different from the Golden Gate bridge design.

  • Guest

    Once the new bridge is open, will you completely remove everything leftover from the old bridge?

  • Chris

    I’m big on recycling. Could your guests talk about what is to happen to the HUGE amount of raw materials contained in the old bay bridge?

  • Does light pollution has been taking in count as part of the light design for the bridge? Light pollution has been reported to affect wild life so I hope the new bridge will not cause more light pollution that will affect the wild life that surrounds the new bridge.

  • Dave Guinther

    Will the bicycle lane continue past treasure island to San francisco?

    • Prinzrob

      Not yet, but it depends entirely on political will and public interest. Almost everyone agrees that a Bay Bridge bike/ped path that ends at Treasure Island is silly, but most people balk at the estimated >$500M price tag of the west span extension.

  • The Bay Bridge name is wrong. We who live here will always call it the Chinese Bridge.

  • Jon Gold

    It’s going t be awesome! Especially when the ‘old’ structure comes down for spectacular views with an opening to the bay views – drive careful1

  • $2870056

    Great radio program. Superb website features.

    Not just engineering, architecture, design … this is art, culture and science too – all combined.

    Can’t wait to be a participant, by crossing it!

  • Guest

    thank you for defending the use of Musco Lights. as an iowan who grew up playing soccer under Musco Lights, i now look forward to driving under them, crossing the bay.

  • Juan Reyes

    will the bike lane be extended to San Francisco

  • Gerald Uy

    Can you please explain why the bike/pedestrian path was placed on the south side of the bridge? It’s obvious that the north side allows a better vantage point of the magnificent views.

    • Paul

      I have to agree. With prevailing winds from the north, and the north side affording more shade, and nearer to Treasure Island, why on the south?

    • Prinzrob

      The only land available for the bike path approach to the bridge from Oakland was on the south side, so putting the path on the north side would have required either running it underneath the bridge or adding a significant amount of landfill. As I understand it both ideas were rejected due to cost and environmental concerns.

      If the west span ever gets a bike/ped path it will be on the north side, so you will at least get a view of each side of the bay along the complete route.

  • poldim

    This bridge: 3.5 KM, construction began in Jan 2002 at an estimated cost of 6.3 BILLION dollars.

    Le Viaduc de Millau: 2.5KM, construction began in Oct 2001 (3 months earlier) at an approximate cost of 360 MILLION dollars in Oct 2001 and 530 MILLION dollars in Dec 2004

    WTF – Where did all this money go?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_span_replacement_of_the_San_Francisco%E2%80%93Oakland_Bay_Bridge

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millau_Viaduct

  • Adrian

    Great photos & video. KQED Forum is a fantastic resource for the Bay Area and beyond. As an ex-San Franciscan, I enjoy the podcast (though Stitcher) on my daily runs. Thank you.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor