Falling concrete on Bay Area bridge blamed on failed joint
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.