Casual Friday — the new Bay Bridge

If you remember anything about the Loma Prieta earthquake (magnitude 7.0) that hit the San Francisco bay area in 1989, it might well be this picture:

It’s a collapsed section of the San Francisco to Oakland Bay Bridge — and currently carries well over 250,000 cars each day, but obviously wasn’t built to survive a severe earthquake.

So the more-fragile, eastern half of the bridge is getting replaced by a brand new structure. The whole effort will wind up costing over $7 billion, but will result in a “lifeline” bridge — capable of functioning after the kind of earthquake that’s expected only every 1,500 years. And it’s built to last for 150 years. Essentially, it’ll be San Francisco’s lifeline to the outside world when “the big one” comes (and that’s definitely a “when,” not an “if”).

So courtesy of Wired comes this video about the most photogenic and high-tech part of the new span — the world’s largest self-anchored suspension bridge, hanging from a tower in the middle of the bridge rather than from ground on either end of it.

If you’re using a non-Flash device, you can check out the video imbedded in its accompanying Wired article over here.

This entry was posted in Geology, Technology and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.