Broken rods on Bay Bridge checked

OAKLAND — State transportation officials in California are investigating why nearly three dozen threaded steel rods on the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge snapped when workers tightened the fittings.

The rods — up to 16 feet long and as thick as a man's thigh — connect the bridge deck to the concrete cap that sits on top of the massive pier just east of the bridge tower, according to The Contra Costa Times (http://bit.ly/14nrDqm).

Officials with Caltrans, the state agency responsible for bridges and other transportation, were expected to brief the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on the problem. The commission is overseeing the new $6.4 billion span construction with the state.

Commission spokesman Randy Rentschler told the newspaper the broken rods are not considered a structural problem and are not expected to delay the scheduled Labor Day weekend opening.

The rods were manufactured in Ohio and are being installed for seismic safety.

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