Hundreds of feet underwater, a 19 foot section of the main tower for San Francisco's upcoming Bay Bridge may be flawed, shedding doubt over the structure's ability to survive a major earthquake scenario - scenarios not all that uncommon for the region. In a report released by an engineering firm associated with the project, a batch of concrete in the main tower has not set, possibly endangering the structural stability of the bridge's linchpin.
The $6.5 billion bridge, touted as the 'safest bridge in the world,' went nearly $5 billion over budget during construction, and news of potential defects are already stirring strong emotions in the area. The bridge is set to open Labor Day Weekend in 2013, and is expected to carry more than 100 million vehicles annually.
The California Department of Transportation has announced it will consult independent experts, potentially challenging its earlier safety reports on the project.