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For Immediate Release:
November 5, 2009

Art Bauer- Senator Lowenthal’s Office (916) 651-4121
Ali Bay- Senator Leno’s Office 916-651-4550
Melissa Figueroa- Senator Simitian’s Office 916-651-4011

Senate Hearing Scheduled to Discuss Safety Concerns of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

(Sacramento) Senator Alan Lowenthal, Chairman of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee has announced a hearing to address safety concerns of the eastern span of the Oakland- San Francisco Bay Bridge.

The hearing will be held in collaboration with the Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Transportation, Chaired by Senator Mark Leno, (D-San Francisco) and the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee’s sub-committee on Caltrans’ budget, headed by Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto).

“Over 250,000 cars a day pass over this bridge,” said Lowenthal (D- Long Beach). “We need to know that the bridge is safe until it is replaced.”

“I understand that much of the debate about safety is technical,” said Simitian. “But you don’t have to be an engineer to know that we shouldn’t have 5,000 pounds of steel crashing onto rush hour traffic. It’s only by the grace of God that somebody wasn’t killed. My hope is that we can put an end to this series of mishaps— and sooner rather than later.”

Caltrans closed the bridge for six days recently due to the failure of an emergency repair made after a crack in a supporting structure, called an eyebar, was discovered over the Labor Day weekend.

“Many questions need to be asked,” said Leno. “Without answers to those questions, what certainty do we have that the situation won’t repeat itself?”

The replacement of the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been saddled with many delays and challenges. The completion date for the new span is estimated sometime in 2013.

The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, January 12, 2010, at 1:30 PM in the State Capitol.



Related Pages: Public Safety, Press Releases