Posts Tagged ‘span’

How Will the Signs for the Willie Brown Span of Our Bay Bridge Get Defaced? The Latest Odds

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

Ah, we’re just finding out about today’s big event.

So just as Herb Caen (1916-1997) got a party for Herb Caen Way in 1996, Willie Brown (1934- 20__) is getting a party for the Willie L. Brown Junior span of the Bay Bridge in 2014.

What are the odds, which type of attack will come first?

Spray Paint: 1 to 1 favorite

Willie Brown is almost universally despised. The naming of this bridge was never put to a vote because Willie Brown would never win it. Ergo, the masses will speak with spray paint, most likely.

Ranged Weapon: 3 to 1

A drive-by shooting with a paintball gun certainly is a possibility. Shooting at a sign with a handgun or rifle, well that’s getting cray-cray.

Close Quarters Combat Weapon: 5 to 1

Shotgun blast, also cray cray.

Chemical attack: 10 to 1

I don’t know how this would work. Perhaps using paint thinner or acid.

Other: 12 to 1

Who knows, medieval mace hurled and embedded, baseball bat, bowling ball, truckasuarus? The mind boggles.

So, do I think it’s appropriate to troll the voting (and non-voting) public into action with this misguided sign deal? Yes.

So, do I think that CalTrans or whomever should have a GoPro or two in the areas of these signs? Yes.

And who will be the happiest when the attacks make the news?

One Willie Brown, srsly. He’ll love the attention

If You Want to Walk Across the Bay Bridge on September 1st FOR FREE, Then You’ll Need to Sign Up Now

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

‘Cause by the time you hear about this opportunity from the MSM or a blog, it’ll be too late.

Now some people wanted to charge you for the chance to walk the bridge, but they ended up deciding to just require registration with no payment required.

C’mon, this thing is only two decades-plus late.

All the deets:

“We are excited to announce that registration for the Bay Bridge Walk will be FREE! Our next email will include more details on each event and registration dates.

Registration is required for all on-bridge activities and there will be limited capacity so sign up early!

Please tell your friends and family who wish to participate to visit baybridgecelebration.com and sign up for e-mail updates. You will be the first to hear when registration is open.

More details on the Bay Bridge Bike, Run & Walk coming soon!

-The Bay Bridge Celebration Team”

There’ll be plenty of space to roam:

See you there!

Don’t Miss Today’s Big Meeting About Adding a Bike Path to the Western Span of the Bay Bridge – 5:30 PM, 100 Van Ness

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Via LivaSOMA comes news of today’s big meeting about putting a bike lane on the western span of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.

It’ll look like this:

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All the deets:

“Open House to Unveil Design Alternatives for Bay Bridge West Span Bike/Ped Path Project - December 13 Meeting to Highlight Concepts, Challenges, Opportunities

Tuesday, December 13, 2011
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m

SFCTA Board Room
100 Van Ness Avenue, 26th Floor
San Francisco, CA

The Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA), in partnership with Caltrans and the City and County of San Francisco, has developed several design alternatives for a bicycle/pedestrian/maintenance path project on the West Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and will present these alternatives for public review and consideration at an informational open house on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m in the San Francisco County Transportation Authority Board Room, 100 Van Ness Avenue, 26th Floor, in San Francisco.

The open house will advance development of a Project Initiation Document (PID) for what is formally known as the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Bicycle Pedestrian Maintenance Path Project. The PID is intended to update the feasibility study performed in 2001. In addition to featuring design alternatives, the open house will outline key challenges and constraints, project costs, and the development process for the project. The public is invited to view project exhibits and talk with project team members. A presentation will be made at 6 p.m. and at 6:45 p.m.  Please note the same presentation will be given at both times.

The proposed pathway project would extend the bicycle/pedestrian path already being constructed on the Bay Bridge’s new East Span by taking it around Yerba Buena Island and across the bridge’s West Span into San Francisco. In addition to providing a continuous bike/ped route from Oakland to San Francisco, the path project also would provide improved bridge access for Caltrans maintenance crews, thereby reducing maintenance closures on the bridge. Please note that these are preliminary designs and that funding for this project has not yet been identified.

Project materials will be posted to mtc.ca.gov/westspanbikepath after the meeting. Meeting facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. Requests for special accommodations should be directed to Meghan Daniels at m.daniels@circlepoint.com or 415.227.1100 x118.”

San Francisco’s World-Class Ship-Repair Capability Gets that Carnival Splendor Cruise Ship Working – And a Mystery Solved

Monday, February 28th, 2011

You know why that Carnival Splendor cruise ship got towed to a San Francisco dry dock all the way up from Fun Diego last month, you know why her owners chose the 415 as the place where she’d get a new engine and get a whole bunch of work done?

Because they didn’t really have a choice, that’s why. If your 300-yard+ vessel needs to come out of the briny somewhere in the Eastern Pacific, odds are you’ll bring it here. Hurray!

So, why did the fire in one engine room affect the other engine room? Answer here.

And did the passengers really eat airlifted Spam and Pop Tarts for three days? Not really. Answer here.

The view from our world-class San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge. (It’s only been two decades since that earthquake and we’re almost done fixing it up already!) Now-defunct Potrero Power Plant camera right:

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Anyway, the Splendor is loaded up and chugging towards Mexico, back OTJ.

Hurray!

Coming into San Francisco on the Bay Bridge Involves Climbing a Hill

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

This one. All the way up to the central anchorage of the suspension span…

When (or if) they build a pedestrian / cyclist path on this part of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge (the way they’re doing on the span that will go from Treasure Island to Oakland), people will finally experience, first hand, how hilly a bridge can be.

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The World’s Largest Sugar Refinery, C&H, is in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sort Of

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

The California and Hawaii Sugar Refinery in Crockett, CA is used to be the largest in the world [see comments], so we all ought to tip our hats when speeding over the Carquinez Strait to enter and leave the San Francisco Bay Area.

Respect The Cane, baby, or otherwise we’ll end up with only yucky beet sugar (perhaps the MythBusters could do a test?) instead of the Seven Varieties we enjoy today.

As seen with the Carquinez Bridge (the 2003 Alfred Zampa suspension span plus the 1958 “23+0015R” cantilever span) inbetwixt. When all the lights are working, you can see ”C and H PURE CANE SUGAR.”

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Do you remember the C&H song?* That ditty went a little something like this:

C and H, pure cane sugar, from Hawaii, grown in the Sun
When you cook, when you bake, for goodness sake, C and H
C and H pure cane sugar, that’s the one

(If you ever espy the Moku Pahu bulk freighter carrying all that semi-processed cane from the 808 state, be sure to hum the tune.)

The C&H refinery used to employ hundreds, keeping 46(!) bars humming in the tiny town of Crockett. But these days the place runs at half-speed.

Oh well.

*The authentic, Burl Ives version of the famous C and H jingle: 

Pearly shells from the ocean
Shining in the sun
Covering the shore
When I see them
My heart tells me that I love you
More than all the little pearly shells

For ev’ry grain of sand upon the beach
I’ve got a kiss for you
And I’ve got more left over
For each star that twinkles in the blue

Pearly shells
Shining in the sun
Covering the shore
When I see them
My heart tells me that I love you
More than all the little pearly shells

Pupu a o Ewa
I ka nuku
E lawe mai
Ahe aina
Mai no
Ala hula puuloa he ala hele no kaahupahau

I apau huna one i ka kahakai
Ua honi nau
Ho’i koe lawa na
Pakahi hoku ‘i ka lani
Puhau
Ala hula puuloahe ala hele no kaahupahau

A Brand New Path for Cyclists and Pedestrians on the Benicia-Martinez Bridge

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

Yesterday saw the debut of a brand-new 12-foot-wide path for pedestrians and bike riders on one of the spans of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge a way out there in the extreme East Bay. That means that you can now easily travel from the former home-town of the Zodiac Killer to the beaver-ridden shores of Martinez, CA without using your car.

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Take a look at the circuit you can now make on your bike way out in the 925. Just use the Carquinez Bridge (cost overrun = $47,000,000 in 2003) one way and the B-M Bridge (cost overrun = $1,000,000,000 in 2007 mas o menos, due, in part, to the alleged suicidal tendencies of bay area fish, srsly) the other and you’re looping, baby.

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Hurray!

Pedestrian/Bicycle Path Debuts on Benicia-Martinez Bridge

New Path Closes Gap in Bay Area Trail System 

Festivities were held today to mark the official opening of a new pedestrian/bicycle path on the George Miller, Jr. Memorial Bridge leading from Benicia to Martinez. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) and Caltrans hosted opening events at both ends of the bridge, with a ribbon-cutting in Martinez at the foot of the bridge kicking off the festivities. Attendees then joined in the official first walk/ride across the bridge, where an opening ceremony followed at Vista Point in Benicia. A bicycle rodeo geared to youths at the nearby Amports lot was offered by the City of Benicia.

“The opening of the pedestrian/bicycle path is an exciting milestone that signifies completion of the final improvements to both spans of the Benicia-Martinez Bridge,” explained Bijan Sartipi, Director of Caltrans District 4 and an MTC/BATA Commissioner. “We are thrilled that we now have safe and efficient travel across the Carquinez Strait for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.”

The Benicia-Martinez Bridge connects Contra Costa and Solano counties across the Carquinez Strait. It is comprised of two separate spans, named for father and son (the late Senator George Miller, Jr. and current Congressman George Miller III), making the bridge a unique landmark. The 2007 addition, the Congressman George Miller III Memorial Bridge, carries five lanes of northbound Interstate 680 traffic from Martinez to Benicia and includes the Bay Area’s debut of open-road tolling technology. The original George Miller, Jr. Memorial Bridge, built in 1962 to carry traffic in both directions, now carries four lanes of southbound Interstate 680 traffic with full shoulders and the new pedestrian/bicycle path.

“This is a milestone project that has been in the works a long time and we are all very excited to see its completion,” said Laura Thompson, Bay Trails project manager for the Association of Bay Area Governments. “We are happy that we are making strides to close both the Bay and Ridge Trail gaps.”

Funded primarily through the Regional Measure 1 toll program approved by voters in 1988 and administered by BATA, the $50 million Benicia-Martinez Bridge project encompassed reconfiguring the bridge and adding the new path. The completion of the construction on the pedestrian/bicycle path indicates the final phase of construction on both bridges.

Caltrans owns, operates and maintains the state highway system, including seven of the eight Bay Area toll bridges. BATA, which is directed by the same policy board as MTC, administers toll revenues from the region’s state-owned toll bridges. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

                                                                   FACT SHEET

                 GEORGE MILLER, JR. BRIDGE PEDESTRIAN/BICYCLE LANE

    Significance        The new Benicia-Martinez pedestrian/bicycle lane on
                        the Senator George Miller, Jr. Memorial Bridge will
                        close a gap in the San Francisco Bay and Ridge Trails.
                        This lane also serves as a link in the Carquinez
                        Strait Scenic Loop Trail, which is a 50-mile trail
                        that crosses both the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and Al
                        Zampa Bridge spans over the Carquinez Strait.
                        Bicyclists and pedestrians using this new path will be
                        treated to stunning views of the Suisun Bay, as well
                        as the Carquinez Bridge and the Mothball Fleet.

    Official Name       George Miller, Jr. Memorial Bridge

    Original Structure
     Opened             September 16, 1962

    Location            Carquinez Strait linking Contra Costa and Solano
                        counties

    Roadway             Southbound Interstate 680 from Benicia to Martinez

    Configuration       Originally, three northbound lanes and three
                        southbound lanes; now four southbound lanes and one
                        pedestrian/bicycle lane

    Length of
     Pedestrian/Bicycle
     Path               11,800 feet or 2.2. miles

    Width of
     Pedestrian/Bicycle
     Path               12 feet; bi-directional travel

    Vertical Clearance
     of the Bridge      138 feet

    Type of
     Construction       Deck truss

    Project Cost        $50 million to seismically retrofit the bridge and add
                        the pedestrian/bicycle path

    Construction
     Funding            Regional Measure 1 funds:  77%

    Federal funds:      21%

    State funds:        2%

    Seismic Safety      A “Lifeline” structure designed to remain in service
                        following a maximum credible earthquake. The
                        Interstate 680 corridor has been designated as a
                        primary route for transporting emergency supplies into
                        the Bay Area after a major earthquake.

The New Bicycle and Pedestrian Path on the Bay Bridge Looks Awesome

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Of course it’s only been two decades since the Loma Prieta earthquake damaged the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge, so it’s only natural that we’re still working on it. Let’s check out progress on California’s Bridge to Nowhere So Far.

That’s Treasure Island you can see ‘neath the Bay Bridge’s northern cable, and there’s Azkaban in the background. Click to expand:

But guess what - a “15.5-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian path will run along the eastbound deck of the 2-mile long structure.”

Can you see the white bicycle and pedestrian path there on the near side of the new eastern span?  They even have balconies. Check it: 

Man, that’s going to be awesome. What’s the speed limit going to be for those going downhill?

Try to imagine it filled up with cars though, as that’s how it’s going to be, 24-7. Think back to the old days when traffic was so light you could pull over and conversate, at least that’s the way it was according to this segment of Shadow of the Thin Man from 1941 (at about minute 8:30 or so). (And all the trains were underneath on the lower deck, but that’s another story.)

(One time, I managed to change a tire (illegally?) on the upper deck of the suspension span, but that’s another story. A scary story)

But hey, what about a bike path on the western span? Well, that’s still pie in the sky these days. Maybe in a couple MORE decades… 

Required reading:

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span Seismic Safety Project : pedestrian & bicycle study.
/ California. Department of Transportation. Oakland, CA : Caltrans, 1998.
TG25 .S33,C275 1998 no.10
Feasibility report : San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge West Span : bicycle / pedestrian / maintenance path planning and feasibility study
/ prepared by CH2M Hill in association with SC Solutions. Oakland, CA : Caltrans, 2001.
TG25 .S335 C27 2001r Oversize New Book Shelf.

And There You Have It.

See you there!

Rant: The Cosco Busan Hit the Delta Tower, not “Delta Span” of the Bay Bridge.

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

The whole Cosco Busan deal  is hotting up these days. Check out the federal charges against Captain John Cota posted by KPIX here.

Here’s the rant part. The Busan hit the Delta Tower of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. It didn’t hit the “Delta Span”, despite numerous accounts reporting it that way.  A “span” is the more or less horizontal part of a bridge where you might see cars zipping by. A tower is the up and down part that helps support the spans.

Yet, we still hear about the span, even from the official federal paperwork:

“The M/V Cosco Busan departed the Port of Oakland in heavy fog and struck the Delta span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge…”

It’s very possible that Cota mistakenly reported to authorities that the ship “touched” the Delta Span. He was under a lot of pressure. The point is that whether you’re trying a case in real life or just in the press, it’s nice to get these small details correct. If half of the reports of what Cota said over the radio are incorrect, what other reported details are incorrect?

Lastly, take a look at today’s headline, below. It’s very possible that Cota could be found to have some or most of the responsibility for the oil spill, and yet not serve any time behind bars. So he might not be heading for “the brig” after all

Only time will tell.

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