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East Span Of Bay Bridge Coming Together

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS13) -– Nearly a decade later on a $6.3 billion Caltrans project, and the new East Span of the Bay Bridge is starting to come together.

CBS13's Neda Iranpour had a unique view of the bridge's progress – some 525 feet above the bay on the world's largest self-anchored suspension span.

What does that mean? One large cable made up of 17,000 mile-long strands will connect a span of the Bay Bridge.

"It's the only one of its type with a single tower and one cable that supports the whole thing," said project spokesman Bart Ney.

The cable will be pulled on a catwalk. It'll go to the top of the tower down around to the other side, then connect together. The tension will be so tight it's going to hold the bridge together. 3306

The final sections just delivered from China this weekend will fill in a gap to anchor the cable in place.

"It's not your typical job, especially over the water like this," Ney said.

And nearly 300,000 cars a day will be hoping this project works. It's designed to handle major earthquakes and will be considered the lifeline from the East Bay to San Francisco.

The bridge is designed not only to not fall down but be immediately useable by emergency service vehicles, then open to public without rebuilding.

There's a whole lot of materials that go into such a huge project. Some 350,000 bolts will connect 28 decks made up 67,000 tons of steel, and that's just for the 2,000 foot section. This thing is 8 miles long.

The lighting for construction on the catwalk was turned on for the first time Monday.

The new Bay Bridge is expected to open at the end of 2013.

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