Structure Type: built works - infrastructure - transportation structures - bridges

Designers: Barrett and Hilp, Contractors (firm); Donovan, John J., Architect (firm); Charles E. Andrew (civil engineer); J. Frank Barrett (building contractor); Arthur Brown Jr. (architect); John Joseph Donovan Sr. (architect); Harold Hilp Sr. (building contractor); Ralph Modjeski (civil engineer); Daniel E. Moran (civil engineer); Timothy Ludwig Pflueger (architect); Charles H. Purcell (civil engineer); Glen Woodruff (engineer)

Dates: constructed 1933-1936

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Building History

Construction of the two-part bridge and tunnel began 07/09/1933 and the span was opened to traffic on Thursday, 11/12/1936, at 12:30 p.m. The first part of the span was a cantilever bridge, joining Oakland, CA to Yerba Buena Island; a 2,950 feet long tunnel, 80-feet wide and 60-feet high was bored through a steep incline on Yerba Buena; a suspension bridge was then constructed by the Bechtel Corporation and others from Yerba Buena to San Francisco, CA; this two-part construction pivoting on Yerba Buena Island cost less than a single span across the water, an important fact during the Depression; the total cost of the 8.4-mile-long bridge was $79.5 million.

San Francisco's Barrett and Hilp Construction Company completed portions of the Bay Bridge's lower span, used originally for electric trains.

Building Notes

The bridge cost $79.5 million including all of the electric rail infrastructure, which was shortsightedly removed later. The noted San Francisco architect, Arthur Brown, Jr., (1874–1957) served as a Design Consultant for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge #1.

A reconstruction campaign costing $35 million occurred between 1958-1962; on 10/17/1989, a 50-foot chunk of the upper deck of the Oakland-Bay Bridge's cantilevered portion collapsed during the 7.1 Loma Prieta Earthquake; this collapse killed one person who drove off the buckled roadway; Caltrans made repairs to the dislodged section, and the bridge reopened to traffic on 11/18/1989; on 01/29/2002, after much debate, construction began on a new Oakland-Yerba Buena Island span; this would be a suspension bridge, expected to be finished in late 2010; due to rapid rise in steel prices, its cost ballooned from a projected 1.1 billion at the start of the project to 5.1 billion by 07/2004; this suspension bridge was to be supported by a single 525-foot tower, and to have an asymmetrical silhouette.

PCAD id: 3140