SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Officials for CalTrans, the agency responsible for construction of the new Eastern Span of the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco to the East Bay, have said that the bridge may open as planned in September, 2013, after almost 10 years of design and construction.
Completion of the project was in doubt when it was found that steel bolts put in place to stabilize the bridge during an earthquake were becoming brittle and cracking due to hydrogen forming near them.
Steve Heminger, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the agency responsible for building the bridge, said that the solution was "technology".
"Bolts are physical things so of course there may be problems but technology, especially the internet, is ephemeral. We can't allow problems in the meatspace to prevent the march of progress.
Now, many people say "What if the bridge collapses in an earthquake?" and we have to address what is really meant by "collapse" which, by the way, is an incredibly judgmental word. We prefer the term "unexpected disusability".
In the event of an unexpected disusability, our web site would probably still function so we can't really call that a "collapse".
When asked how people would be expected to travel in the event of an unexpected disusability, Hemminger responded "well, there's always BART, if they're not on strike".
Hemminger also hinted that there might be a backup plan that would involve removing all hydrogen from the atmosphere in the San Francisco Bay Area, but this plan would require at least 27 years and $93 billion to complete. While $93 billion may seem like a lot, Hemminger stated that it was a "small price to pay for avoidance of an unexpected disusability".