Caltrans Reviews whether Bay Bridge Project Broken Bolts Failed Tests

Tom Warne Report, 8 April 2013

Sacramento Bee – April 2, 2013

The California Department of Transportation announced this week that it is looking into whether the large bolts that broke last month on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge project had not passed quality control test by the department’s materials lab.

Dyson Corp. of Ohio manufactured the bolts which were used to hold vital seismic safety equipment – shear keys and bearings – on the eastern pier of the new suspension bridge. Dyson Corp has had at least 14 other parts on the suspension project fail Caltrans quality tests – many more failures than any other manufacturer on the job, according to Caltrans documents. Caltrans released a memo by its director, Malcolm Dougherty, instructing Toll Bridge Program Manager Tony Anziano to “identify any other components of the bridge that came from that manufacturer or supplier and re-inspect.

Caltrans records state that the parts manufactured by Dyson that failed quality tests include 1-inch diameter, 17-inch long bolts – also used to hold shear keys and bearings – and 3.5-inch, 4-foot long anchor rods for the main cable of the suspension span.

Dougherty’s memo also directs Anziano to complete a comprehensive review of what went wrong with the bolts and “a complete forensic analysis” and to “put the contractor on notice in writing that they need to demonstrate that they are in full compliance with contractual requirements and secure their proposed course of action.”

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