Newspaper investigation finds apparent Bay Bridge work defects

  • The San Francisco fireboat Phoenix sprays after the Golden State Warriors announced their plans to build a new waterfront basketball arena in San Francisco, Tuesday, May 22, 2012. The Warriors unveiled plans to build an arena at Piers 30-32. The waterfront site near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is just blocks from the San Francisco Giants' ballpark and the downtown financial district. The arena would be completed in 2017. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SACRAMENTO — A newspaper reported Sunday that it has found records of an apparent defect in the construction of the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Records provided by Caltrans last fall show that a builder failed to report that a 19-foot section of concrete in the foundation of the span's signature tower had not hardened before tests were conducted, according to The Sacramento Bee (http://bit.ly/KUmQzU ).

By failing to disclose the matter, the builder prevented further examination or repair of the concrete, the newspaper said.

Kiewit-FCI-Manson, an Oakland-based joint venture, built the foundation as part of a $177 million contract. It did not provide the 2007 test results until after a Bee investigation in November showed that a Caltrans employee skipped required test preparation for separate checks of the same foundation and fabricated results on other Caltrans projects, the newspaper said.

The newspaper said experts who reviewed concrete and engineering records for The Bee questioned the ability of the main tower foundation to resist an extreme earthquake, which was the reason for building the new bridge.

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