Caltrans engineers seek approval to complete Old Bay Bridge demolition

Old Bay Bridge
Old Bay Bridge | Contributed photo
The California Department of Transportation (Caltans) recently asked for approval from the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee (TBPOC) for a final three-year plan to complete demolition work on the Old Bay Bridge.

In November, Caltrans crews conducted controlled implosions to remove Pier E3, the bridge's largest underwater pier. Further demolition work would be done using the same method.

Caltrans crews developed a $140 million plan that would bring down two piers this fall if the plan is approved by the TBPOC. These blasts would be followed by smaller implosions – six in 2017 and seven in 2018.

Environmental agencies also must sign off on the plan. Caltrans officials said implosion demolitions offer the fastest, most cost-effective and environmentally friendly option to remove underwater structures.

The Old Bay Bridge was completed in 1936. It is more than a mile long and includes a 2,500-ton steel truss, which was lowered in February.

“(The) truss lowering was a textbook example of good engineering and safe construction practices,” Dan McElhinney, Caltrans' chief deputy district director for the Bay Area, said. “November’s implosion was a model of environmental stewardship that we would like to replicate as we finish the job of removing the old bridge.”

A time-lapse video of the truss removal can be viewed online at

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California Department of Transportation

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