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Dumbarton Bridge reopens 10 hours early

The Dumbarton Bridge reopened around 7:20 p.m. Monday night, about 10 earlier than the scheduled early Tuesday AM time. According to colleague Sandy Kleffman: Work crews were installing 96 seismic bearings under the bridge deck to enable it to remain flexible and resilient during strong ground motion. The contractor was Shimmick Construction Co., based in Oakland. The bridge — a 1.6 mile span between Menlo Park and Fremont that has 61,000 vehicles daily – closed at 10 p.m. Friday.

So, all went well. Which always shocks me.  Why?

When Danville’s Chester “Sully” Sullenberger successfully completed an emergency landing in the Hudson River a few years ago, he was lauded as a hero. Longtime Argus newspaper stalwart, Rob Dennis, put it best: “Sully’s something far rarer than a hero, he’s a competent professional.”

That’s what it’s come to lately in the U.S. After the failed Hurricane Katrina response, Boston’s Big Dig boondoggle and a host of other debacles, we are shocked when any big project goes well. At least I am, anyway. The Dumbarton Bridge holiday closure was no problem and even opened 10 hours early. Color me surprised.

Chris DeBenedetti