Clouds over Bay Bridge.
Photo by Jan Hobbel

The Bay Bridge is no stranger to controversy—but it can add a new one to the its storied history.

State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, is calling for a criminal investigation into construction problems on the new $6.5 billion span. He and a team of experts allege that the California Department of Transportation knowingly accepted substandard work at taxpayer expense. A new Senate investigative report to be released this week will reveal the extent of the damage including:

• Misaligned and cracked welds in the suspension span roadway that could lead to deck fractures.

• Concrete in the tower foundation that tests showed as “very poor” or “not fully set.”

• Anchor rods of suspect reliability on the suspension span.

• Corrosion of internal tendons that support the skyway.

According to the Sacramento Bee, conflict of interests have played a role in major delays and billions of dollars spent over budget. “Some managers, builders and advisers often have played conflicting roles – performing oversight while directing the project, or conducting lucrative research for Caltrans while acting as paid advisors to approve the department’s decisions.”

Click here for a more comprehensive look at The Sacramento Bee’s ongoing investigation.

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