OAKLAND — Crews trying to repair the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge ran into delays Friday as they waited for new steel plates needed to strengthen the troubled span before final tests could be run on the fix.
"There is still a lot of work that needs to be done," Bart Ney, a spokesman for the California Department of Transportation, said Friday evening.
Ney said the bridge likely will stay closed through the weekend, and it was unclear if it would reopen for the Monday morning commute.
Construction crews began the repairs after two rods and a crossbar broke during Tuesday evening rush hour, sending 5,000 pounds of steel crashing into traffic lanes on the heavily used bridge.
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One person was injured and three cars were damaged.
Crews had to stop work Friday while waiting for more metal to be ordered.
The accident resurrected fears about the safety of a span that millions watching the 1989 World Series broadcast learned had failed during an earthquake.
Continuing delays spark anger
The terrifying scene Tuesday stirred anger over the constant delays and soaring costs of the still- unfinished new eastern span of the 73-year-old bridge, which has become the largest public works project in California history.
The pieces that broke were part of major repairs done Labor Day weekend after state inspectors found a crack on a key structural beam. Those fixes failed because of vibrations caused by high winds.
Work was delayed Friday after new rods had been installed and engineers decided to use 2-inch thick steel plates to further strengthen the work, said Ed Puchi, spokesman for MCM Construction Inc., the contractor doing the work.
"We're not sure how long it's going to take to make those modifications, and what Caltrans wants to do in terms of tests," Puchi said.
Engineers from the Federal Highway Administration also will be inspecting the new repairs after they are finished.
Many commuters have chosen to work from home or take public transportation as drivers clogged nearby bridges.
Bay Area Rapid Transit ridership has soared to record levels this week. The agency planned to run trains overnight Friday and today if the bridge remained closed.
The agency has no plans to run service overnight Sunday even if the bridge does not reopen. BART normally ends service about midnight.