Bay Bridge remnants face final farewell

Caltrans crews are set to remove the last of the tallest, most visible truss segments of the original eastbound span of the Bay Bridge starting Wednesday morning, according to Caltrans.

Just as the previous four trusses were removed last month, the crews will cut the fifth 504-foot truss from its support and lower it onto barges, Caltrans officials said.

However, unlike the previous trusses removed, the last one will have to be cut into three segments before it can be hauled away to Pier 7, according to Caltrans.

Because two communication huts are sitting next to the truss, once it’s lowered onto three awaiting barges crews will then cut it into segments in order to avoid the damaging the huts.

Lowering the truss may take up to two days to complete, with 12 to 14-hour workdays, and is highly dependent on weather conditions, Caltrans officials said.

Additionally, cutting the truss into three parts and transporting it to Pier 7 may take another five days. Heavy winds or high waves, or both, could prolong the procedure.

“We’re excited that Caltrans and the contractor have done this safely, on time and under budget, while having the least impact to the environment,” Chief Bay Bridge Engineer Brian Maroney said in a statement.

The removal of this truss marks a milestone for the demolition of the original Bay Bridge, as it will complete the second part of a three-part process to dismantle the old bridge, according to Caltrans.

Caltrans completed the first phase of the project last year, with the demolition of the cantilever section and the S-curve to Yerba Buena Island, Caltrans said.

The final phase will involve taking apart 14 288-foot trusses that extend to the Oakland shore, which will be a completely different engineering challenge, according to Caltrans officials.

Caltrans will live stream Wednesday’s operation. Those interested can watch the demolition from two different cameras at both https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm-wXGyG0tHq4NAco-TzKRg/live and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCky7z7aBl7uEwHDLhMtsgsw/live.