Demolition of old eastern Bay Bridge span begins

  • This photo shows a barge on Treasure Island with the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013. The barge is one of three mysterious floating structures that have sparked online speculation. The secretive structures, two in San Francisco and one Portland, Maine, are registered with a Delaware corporation as BAL0001, BAL0010, BAL0011 and BAL0100. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

OAKLAND — The new, $6.4 billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is done, and demolition of the 1930s-era bridge has begun.

The tricky, years-long demolition of the old span presents myriad engineering challenges of its own, Brian Maroney, the California Department of Transportation's bridge engineer, told the Contra Costa Times (http://bit.ly/195lrk9).

"The old bridge is the world's largest armed bow and arrow," Maroney said. "We have to de-string it very carefully or it will go boom!"

Crews conducting the $281-million demolition will first dismantle the old bridge's steel frames, called trusses, roadway deck and piers that are closest to the new span, allowing the new bridge's bike and pedestrian path to be completed.

In all, about 7 ? million tons of asphalt, concrete and steel will be removed.

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