New San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge (East Span)

Client: American Bridge – Fluor JV (Main Span); Kiewit/FCI/Manson JV (Skyway, Pier T1 Base & Main Tower)
Capex: $6.5 billion
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California, U.S.
Completion Date: 2002-2013

The Oakland Bay Bridge was built to replace the cantilever bridge destroyed in the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. It is the world’s largest Self-Anchored Suspension Span (SAS).

Scope of Work:

  • The deck is comprised of 33,000 tons of orthotropic tub girders weighing up to 1,700 tons each
  • The main suspended span is 2,047 feet and the single steel tower is 525 feet high
  • Due to a design/fabrication issue, DBM Vircon had to detail the projects as “Design-Build”

Skyway Viaduct

  • East/West bound lanes detailed by DBM Vircon using AutoCAD
  • 3,200 tonnes East/West Lane

Pier T1 (Tower) Base

  • ïBase segments detailed by DBM Vircon using Tekla

Main Span Tower

  • Lower portions of tower detailed by DBM Vircon using Tekla
  • Upper portion of tower detailed by ZPMC

Main Span

  • Span 1 thru to Span 11 inclusive detailed Tensor Engineering
  • Span 12 thru to Span 14 inclusive detailed by DBM Vircon using AutoCad. Anchor Plate
  • Assembly modeled in Tekla detailed using AutoCAD
  • 7,550 tonnes Span 12 thru to Span 14 inclusive, CB17, CB18 & CB19

Project Stats:

  • The East Span set a new record for its self-anchored suspension span of 1,263 feet
  • Designed to withstand the strongest ground motions engineers can expect in the next 1500 years
  • The first cable-supported bridge to use seismic energy-absorbing shear link beams in its tower
  • The East Span is the first suspension bridge to have no connection from deck to tower
  • Features the longest looped suspension cable ever used for a bridge, measuring at 4,550 feet long
  • The skyway uses precast girder segments weighing up to 750 tons each making them the largest ever built in the world
  • State-of-the-art hinge pipe beams were designed and built at the expansion joints and between bridge frames

Highlights & Challenges:

  • Geometry & design issues pushed out schedule detail/fabrication completion dates
  • Original design specified Segments 13 & 14 had to be orientated radially due to fabrication restrictions, these segments were detailed and fabricated kinked (segmented), thereby increasing the number of pieces required
  • “EOR” & contractor sent representatives to our offices to help expedite design/fabrication issues