VIDEO: Several hundred Bay Bridge tunnel concrete tiles at Yerba Buena Island are vulnerable, examination finds


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — An examination of the Bay Bridge tunnel at Yerba Buena Island has identified several hundred concrete tiles as vulnerable.

You may remember last year a driver told KRON4 about her terrifying experience when a piece flew off and hit her car.

Caltrans says it is now doing something about this situation. At 80 years old, the connecting tunnel at Yerba Buena Island is showing its age, specifically the concrete tiles that line the inside arch.

“About 200 potential areas that should be looked at,” Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus said.

In fact, KRON4 spoke with a woman last year who encountered one of those vulnerable sections, as her car ran over a piece that fell off.

Haus says after going out and launching an inspection, workers are now focusing on fixing the problem.

“Out of those 200, only a fraction of those actually had unsound concrete. But we decided since they’re there, just let’s go ahead and be proactive and so we’re taking care of all 200 of the areas,” Haus said. “We’re patching it with a special kind of concrete patching that has fiberglass in it, so we expect it to last even longer than regular concrete.”

Drivers are reacting to the investigation.

“It’s kind of scary. I have to dodge the tiles,“ Uber driver James Sherrill said. “I’m scared they’re going to fall on me now. So, I’m glad they’re finally working on that.”

The work is expected to be wrapped up by June.

In addition to the east tunnel, Caltrans is also looking at improving the west side.

“We will be doing some new pipes on the west side to improve drainage,“ Haus said. “There is upgrading a lot of the drainage systems and the seals, so that way we’re making sure that the water is draining into the basins and the drains and not going down through the wall.”

And that work will be performed at night so as not to impact too many commuters.

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