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Bay Bridge Oversight Committee To Pay Another $3 Million To Fix Problems With New Eastern Span

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- A committee overseeing the new Bay Bridge eastern span project is going to pay another $3 million to fix several mistakes with the span, including rust-stained paint, misaligned rods and now a new problem - malfunctioning maintenance scaffolds.

The Toll Bridge Oversight Committee, which consists of the heads of Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the state Transportation Commission, says money for the repairs will come from tolls from the seven state-owned bridges in the Bay Area.

The committee also addressed the problem of the bolts and rods that snapped just months before the span was set to open. It hired a blue-ribbon panel of the country's top engineers were hired to investigate the bolt problems .

The ones that snapped were supplied in 2008 and were replaced by newer versions delivered in 2010. Engineers said Thursday the replacement rods are safe, as long as they are being monitored.

"The threshold is high enough for the remaining rods," said engineer Dr. Alan Pense. "We think they are high enough … they are not going to fail."

The salt water environment over time is also a concern, but engineers say as long as the rods are galvanized they should be protected.

"We need to make sure that bolts are protected with at least one barrier," said Bay Bridge design engineer Marwan Nader. "We need to keep our eye on the ball, and the eye on the ball is to maintain it and make sure that it is protected."

There are still several other investigations into the Bay Bridge eastern span problems.

The Bay Bridge oversight committee wants the final recommendations from the engineers in September.

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