CHP wants pricey cameras for new Bay Bridge

A $31 million camera system for the Bay Bridge — costing more than triple the amount budgeted — has been proposed by the California Highway Patrol to help protect the landmark span from terrorists and other security threats.

$8 million had been though necessary for a security system to monitor the new span. The amount requested Wednesday includes $26.3 million for the new eastern span plus $5.1 million to upgrade the western span.

The CHP shared sensitive security details Wednesday with a Bay Area Toll Authority committee responsible for spending on the new bridge, who came away “satisfied with the answers,” said Steve Heminger, the Authority’s executive director.

A matrix of 175 cameras would record video, infrared and thermal images for the exclusive use of law enforcement officials. For security reasons, officials told The Chron the system would be separate from traffic and driver information systems.

Heminger told the Chron the Bay Bridge bears more risk as a target than any other of the seven state-owned toll bridges in the Bay Area:

“There is a concern that with opening a new structure, a landmark iconic structure, it will have more attention placed on it.”

The committee moved the matter on to the full Authority board approval at their February meeting.

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