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Caltrans Stages Bay Bridge Implosion Test Blast

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – While Fleet Week was well underway Friday, Caltrans crews were also busy on the San Francisco Bay, conducting a test blast for the upcoming implosions to remove the piers remaining from the old Bay Bridge.

Caltrans spokeswoman Leah Robinson-Leach said the rehearsal was conducted to make sure everything was ready for the implosion scheduled for Saturday October 15th.

The target will be the massive Pier E5 which will be imploded at 11:30 a.m. on the 15th just after high tide.

Just like when Pier E3 was imploded last November – the California Highway Patrol will stage a short traffic stoppage on the new eastern span of the bridge moments before the implosion.

Pier E3 Implosion Illustration
An animation showed how explosive charges would bring down the old Bay Bridge pier. (Caltrans)

According to Caltrans, no fish were killed by the morning implosion in November, demonstrating that a "bubble curtain" of air blown around the pier was successful in protecting them from the blast of about 400 small explosives set in the concrete.

The implosion of Pier E4 was scheduled for the same time on for Saturday, Oct. 29.

After the October implosions, there will be 13 remaining pier structures that will need to be removed.

Six will be removed by next fall, Caltrans said, the rest will be removed in 2018.

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