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Caltrans Engineer Bill Casey says crews will both submerge bolts in salt water to accelerate rust and put the bolts under extreme tension to test their strength. (Francesca Segre/ KQED)

By Francesca Segre

At the foot of the Bay Bridge in Oakland, a research laboratory is in full swing.

Engineers are testing the strength of bolts that are similar to those that snapped on the new span of the Bay Bridge earlier this year.

Caltrans Engineer Bill Casey says the engineers are submerging the bolts in salt water to accelerate rust … then they’ll put the bolts under extreme tension.

“This will replicate decades of exposure to the harsh environment of the Bay on whether these rods will ever break over the long, long term,” Casey said.

The new eastern span of Bay Bridge was originally slated to open Labor Day weekend, but has been delayed as engineers install temporary and permanent fixes for the snapped bolts.

 

 

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