West Span Expansion Joint Reconstruction Project Underway
Caltrans will resume work to replace six expansion joints on the West Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge beginning Friday night, November 14. The project is expected to last 8-10 weeks. The joints accommodate the road-deck sections’ normal thermal expansion and contraction, as well as the movements of the bridge during a seismic event.
Caltrans in October began reconstructing the upper deck joints, some of which have been in continuous use since the bridge’s opening in 1936. But when metal plates placed on the road-decks to protect the slow-curing concrete of the expansion joints caused significant traffic delays and congestion for San Francisco-bound motorists, the plates were removed and the project temporarily halted.
Patchwork on the six joints, all located on the westernmost section of the bridge between Beale and Spear streets in San Francisco, has been performed since 2011. After an emergency repair was made in April 2014, Caltrans decided to reconstruct the joints to avoid further deterioration.
Under the new system, Caltrans will use rapid-strength concrete, which sets within two hours, in order to avoid using the steel plates that caused the traffic snarls last month. All work for the $2.7 million project will be done at night, between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., and crews are expected to work six nights per week, weather-permitting.
Travelers on the Bay Bridge should expect late-night lane closures on the West Span, but all lanes will reopen before the morning commute by 5 a.m. This reconstruction project is expected to be completed by February 2015.