Falling concrete on Bay Area bridge blamed on failed joint

February 9, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Authorities say chunks of concrete that fell from a San Francisco Bay Area bridge came from a failed expansion joint.

But Tony Tavares of the California Department of Transportation insists Friday that the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge is safe.

The bridge was shut for hours Thursday after concrete fell from the upper deck onto the lower deck. A car was struck. There were no injuries but traffic was jammed all over the area.

Tavares says engineers believe heavy truck traffic and simple wear-and-tear caused the steel joint to fail.

Tavares says crews expect to begin replacing the joint and pouring new concrete on Monday, at a cost of around $300,000.

He says the 63-year-old bridge passed an inspection last August. However, all expansion joints on the 5.5-mile span will be reinspected.

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