Saturday, October 31, 2009

Bay Bridge Closure Continues Over Weekend - BART Trains Run Overnight

Shrouded in fog this morning, the Bay Bridge is to remain closed for the weekend and it is uncertain whether it will open on Monday morning.

In a press conference yesterday afternoon, Caltrans spokesman, Bart Ney, said they needed to prevent the new rods that have been put in place from rubbing against each other and causing metal fatigue.

Metal fatigue from vibration was the cause of the accident during the Tuesday evening commute when two steel eyebars and a crossbar weighing thousands of pounds came crashing down.

Engineers first need to carefully 'back out' the new rods, said Bart Ney. 'We're grinding the areas where there is potential for steel on steel connections. We want them to be very smooth.'

But it would be slow work to prevent the rods being 'nicked', otherwise work on installing the four new rods would have to start over again, he said. After that, they will stress test the rods and 'complete enhancements to minimise movement' of the rod system.

He emphasized that 'safety is the priority.'

Caltrans will be giving another press update this morning, and full coverage is on

In the interim, BART had another record-shattering day on Thursday, beating Wednesday's new record. They carried 442,000 riders, 260,600 of those travelling between San Francisco and the East Bay.

BART have also extended their service to run overnight to 14 designated stations, something they originally said they would not do due to maintenance needs. They ran trains last night and will do so tonight over Saturday and into Sunday morning.

However, they are not so far planning to run an overnight service over Sunday into Monday morning.

Tonight is Halloween, and there are expected to be more travellers to the city. It is also the night when the clocks move back one hour, ending Daylight Saving Time at 2 am.

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