Outgoing Official: Caltrans Should Have Reported Bay Bridge Leaks Earlier

A view of the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on September 8, 2013 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A view of the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Sept. 8, 2013, in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Outgoing Caltrans executive Rick Land said today that the agency should have informed Bay Bridge oversight teams sooner about potentially corrosive leaks on the new eastern span.

Land announced his retirement today, just a week after the executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Steve Heminger, accused Caltrans of withholding information about the leaks.

“Issues need to be brought to (the Toll Bridge Oversight Committee) as soon as they are noticed,” Land, the agency’s chief deputy director, told KQED in an interview.

The outgoing deputy director also confirmed that Caltrans had discovered the leaks in the steel superstructure beneath the bridge’s roadbed in December. Heminger told the San Francisco Chronicle that he and members of the Toll Bridge Oversight Committee did not hear about the problem until late January.

Land told KQED that Caltrans is “redoubling our efforts” to communicate infrastructure issues “as quickly as we find out about them.”

The MTC has called on Caltrans to disclose any further construction irregularities on the bridge by March 4.

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