San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Gets 5,300-Ton Steel Span Delivery from China

The heavily-traveled Bay Bridge, which connects San Francisco to the East Bay, is going to contain a section constructed in and shipped from China. The construction has now been completed and is currently being loaded onto a ship in Shanghai for transport to the San Francisco Bay. From Bloomberg:

The four steel modules, weighing a combined 5,300 tons, will then make a 22-day journey across the Pacific Ocean, before being joined with 24 other sections already in place. Together, they will help form the world’s longest single-tower, self- anchored suspension bridge, stretching 2,047 feet (624 meters).

The structure is part of the Bay’s new $6.4 billion East Span, due to open in 2013, which also includes a 1.2-mile viaduct. Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Co.’s work making the 525-foot tower at the heart of the suspension bridge and the 28 steel deck sections for it, highlights how Chinese engineers are expanding overseas and winning contracts for more complicated projects.

“It’s a one-of-a-kind-project,” William Ibbs, professor of construction management at the University of California, Berkeley, said in a telephone interview. “Seeing something of this magnitude go up is astounding.”

Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan
was at the dock as the bridge span was being loaded and tweeted this photo:

Update: Watch Melissa Chan’s video report here:

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