Tag: Bay Bridge

World’s longest bike pier opens September 3, and a bike shuttle during the bridge closure

The East Bay Bicycle coalition (EBBC) invites you on a tour of the new Bay Bridge bike path, which won’t actually go anywhere — hence, the snarky “longest bike pier” appellation courtesy of the EBBC.

I think everybody in the state of California already knows the Oakland Bay Bridge will be closed over this coming Labor Day weekend so the new span can open for traffic on Monday, September 2. The new Alexander Zuckermann Bike Path will open on Tuesday, but only to a little beyond the first tower. It’s just an out-and-back trip (whee!), with no access to Yerba Buena Island because the existing Bay Bridge is in the way. After the old bridge is torn down, the path to Yerba Buena Island will open in 2015.

The 15.5 foot, three lane path will have a 15 MPH speed limit for cyclists, and the CHP says bicycle officers will patrol the sidepath to ensure the law is followed.

Note also that access to the bike path is currently through a construction site. Read the details provided by EBCC.

Speaking of the Bay Bridge shutdown and bicycle access, Caltrans will offer a special bike shuttle across the Bay Bridge even though the bridge is closed.

Tip of my hat to Rene and Serge.

Bay Bridge bike path bolts fail

Thermal expansion shears dozens of bolts used to anchor the pedestrian / bicycle path to to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

The eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been under construction since 2002 with opening of the roadway scheduled for Labor Day weekend 2013. The Chronicle reports hundreds of these one inch bolts may need to be replaced.

Crews that built the railing committed what experts called a basic mistake – they welded the bolts in place firmly in their slots rather than leaving a small amount of room to accommodate a natural expansion of the bicycle path that happens in hot weather.

As a result, scores of the 1-inch-diameter bolts have been sheared off along the 1.2-mile bike path on the southern side of the span’s skyway section. All of them, along with hundreds of others that were solidly welded, will have to be inspected and possibly replaced

Although the bike path bolts are considered a minor part of the bridge’s structure, some engineers believe this new failure of what should be a “straightforward, simple thing” raises serious questions about the state’s management of this $6.3 billion project. Last March, load bearing test on three-inch diameter rods used to secure the road deck to concrete columns resulted in the failure of a third of tested fasteners. This failure is attributed to faulty parts and will cost an estimated $10 million to fix.

The bike path was a late addition to the bridge design. The 15 1/2 foot wide path begins at the IKEA parking lot in Emeryville and swoops underneath the MacArthur Maze before connecting to the bridge as a floating structure at the edge of the bridge deck. The path only runs as far as Yerba Buena Island, and will not open for use until 2015 after the current eastern span with its infamous S-curve is demolished.

H/T Chris.