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Last Old Bay Bridge Truss to be Removed



Engineering, History, Nostalgia

Date: March 24, 2017
District: District 4
Contact: Leah Robinson-Leach
Phone: (510) 715-6730

OAKLAND – Caltrans' removal of the original east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reaches an historic milestone. On Tuesday, March 28, the 19th and final steel truss span of the Old Bay Bridge will be lowered, completely disassembled and recycled as part of the Old Bay Bridge alignment, weather permitting.

This 1.7 million pound truss section will require removal with the assistance of the Bay tide, at some point between low tide at approximately 6:00am and high tide at approximately 12:30p, due to its proximity to the Oakland shoreline. The 288' trusses that were further out in the Bay, required the use of a hydraulic push-up jacking system that entailed stacking special barrels on top of jacks that reached just beneath the trusses. The trusses were then cut, separated, pushed up and extended out.

Prior to demolition, five 500' trusses stretched approximately ½ mile, followed by fourteen 288' foot trusses extending ¾ of a mile, towards the Oakland shoreline totaling more than 100 million pounds of steel.

Demolition of the nearly 2-mile long original East Span has been taking place in three phases with crews carefully dismantling the 77-year old East Span section-by-section, in roughly the reverse order of how it was built in the mid-1930s. In the First Phase, crews initially worked in the westward direction, toward Yerba Buena Island, taking apart the cantilever section and demolishing the S-Curve. The Second Phase included moving east to dismantle the 504’ and the 288’ truss spans that stretched east of the cantilever to the Oakland shore. The Third Phase, will entail the demolition team heading to the waterline to remove the piers and pilings and then extracting the marine foundations that support the original span down to the mud line. When the entire demolition of the Old Bay Bridge is complete, over 58,000 tons of steel and 245,000 tons of concrete will have been removed.

"This is a tremendous milestone that marks the completion of the safe removal of the 'high steel' that was the SFOBB East Spans. We are extremely proud of our contractor (CEC Silverado), engineers, environmental scientists and other staff for working so well together to complete this very challenging work, more than two years ahead of schedule and under budget. Our focus now is removing the remaining foundations."

Brian Maroney, Chief Bridge Engineer, Caltrans

Extensive monitoring and mitigation efforts will continue through the total completion of demolition, as the environmental team continues to work alongside crews to ensure the safe dismantling of the original East Span. Caltrans is exploring options to complete the total demolition by the end of 2017.

The bike and pedestrian bath will be closed Tuesday, March 28, during this truss lowering operation and the remainder of the day.

Bike path hours:

  • Saturdays, Sundays and holidays - 6:00am to 8:00pm
  • Starting May 25, the hours will extend to closing at 9:00pm

As a result of the demolition moving ahead of schedule, weekday opening of the bike path is anticipated for this summer.

PRESS ACCESS NOTE: Press access will be provided at the Oakland shoreline of the Old Bay Bridge from 5:30a - 12:30p. Signs will be set up to direct media from Caltrans offices at 171 Burma Rd, Oakland, to the shoreline. Chief Bridge Engineer, Brian Maroney will be available onsite between 9:00a and 9:30a for media inquiries.

There will be no public viewing available but the truss lowering can be viewed live at the following links:

These time lapses show the mid-March 288’ truss span removal using the Bay tide:

See more information and video on the removal of the last span:

  • Press Release: Caltrans News Flash #125 - Caltrans Removes Last Truss of Old Bay Bridge
  • Video: Last Bay Bridge Truss Removed - Caltrans News Flash #125

Facts About the Old Bay Bridge:

Length of Old East Span – 1.97 miles

Total steel – 58,209 tons

Total concrete – 245,470 tons

Bridge steel – 51,687 tons

Pier/foundation steel – 6,522 tons

Bridge concrete – 66,962 tons

Pier/foundation concrete – 158,470 tons

Photo Gallery - Construction of the Old Bay Bridge 1930s

Click on a thumbnail to see the full-sized image.

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Sacramento, CA 95814

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