A state lawmaker wants to make sure there’s no chance that the builders of the Bay Bridge’s new eastern span will receive a $20 million bonus.
State Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, issued a statement Monday saying he’d been pleased last month to hear the bridge’s opening might be delayed in order to ensure safety issues – broken anchor rods embedded in seismic stabilizers – could be addressed.
“I was surprised that just two days following the announcement that the bridge opening would be delayed, there was a last-minute proposal to use shims as a temporary fix,” Cannella said. “The news that the eleventh-hour decision to open the Bay Bridge will result in a $20 million bonus warrants an investigation.”
“I find it egregious that the lead builder is going to be in line to receive $20 million in bonuses when the increased costs stemming from construction errors could well exceed that amount,” he said. “I am working with my colleagues in the Legislature to ensure that this decision to use a last-minute temporary fix is completely investigated. We have already been working to address issues relating to other safety issues, massive cost overruns and previous delays in construction. As an engineer, I continue to be baffled by the decisions made in the building of this bridge.”
As my colleagues Lisa Vorderbrueggen and Matthais Gafni reported last week, American Bridge/Fluor Enterprises – the main contractor for the self-anchored suspension span segment – could earn up to $20 million in incentive payments for completing a set of seismic readiness construction tasks whether or not the bridge opens to traffic Sept. 3. Bay Area Toll Authority executive director and oversight committee Chairman Steve Heminger has cast doubt on whether the contractor would get the money, given the cracked-rod fiasco.