Sunday, June 02, 2013

That was then; this is now


At the 20 year mark after the earthquake that revealed the San Francisco Bay Bridge's fragility, media (at least on the other side of the country) were agog at new structure shown in artist's rendering above.
Stabilized by a single, continuous cable that criss-crosses at the the top of the tower, the design provides both engineering strength as well as aesthetic distinction.
Sigh.

For some years we didn't see a daily Chronicle at this house, but one of the inhabitants of our little compound now takes it, so we enjoy the dribs and drabs of local news. At nearly the 25 year mark after Bay Bridge failure, it looks like this. Steven Heminger, executive director of the Metropolitan Transit Commission, one of the plethora of agencies involved in bridge construction explains:
"Look, this is the Bay Area. ... This project has a pedigree, where every time there's a chance for it to go off the rails, it will."
I don't know if its the Bay Area, but it sure seems that CalTrans, the state highway authority building the thing, has flunked basic competence.

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