A Bridge Too Weak?

A UC Berkeley professor believes the unique new Bay Bridge design is fatally flawed

Inevitably, Astaneh's stance has been labeled as sour grapes by some who note that a competing bridge design that he and R. Gary Black submitted was among those that the MTC panel rejected. The suggestion draws a chuckle from the professor. "Oh, come on," he says. "More than 275,000 people a day cross that bridge. We're talking about people's lives." As for his design, he insists, "We were very proud of it, but from my perspective it was as much an exercise for my students as anything. I never expected that it would be chosen, and I certainly wasn't heartbroken over it when it wasn't."

Even now, he says, if the governor or someone else were to ask, he would recommend scrapping the self-anchored span and finding another way to link Yerba Buena Island and the East Bay, even if it meant merely extending the skyway. But he isn't on a crusade.

Professor Astaneh says Caltrans cut funding to UC 
Berkeley following his criticism of the bridge design; 
Caltrans denies any retaliation.
Paolo Vescia
Professor Astaneh says Caltrans cut funding to UC Berkeley following his criticism of the bridge design; Caltrans denies any retaliation.
At 1,850 feet, the curving, self-anchored, single-tower 
suspension span will be the longest of its type in the 
world.
At 1,850 feet, the curving, self-anchored, single-tower suspension span will be the longest of its type in the world.

"My friends and my wife have said, 'Why not just be quiet about the bridge?' But it's very simple. If, God forbid, a tragedy should occur on that span someday, I don't want anyone to say I didn't do enough to speak up."

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