The Labor Day Bay Bridge celebration for the opening of the eastern span may be postponed. In the last few weeks, concern about issues with the Self Anchored Suspension Span (SAS) of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and specifically the cracked anchor bolts, has greatly increased from Governor Jerry Brown’s enlightened comment on May 7, 2013, that “shit happens.” Indeed, the problems with the bolts have heightened concern about public safety and a real possibility that the SAS will not be ready for use until 2014. After all, we are talking about the structural integrity of the state’s most traversed bridge, and at a cost of $6.4 billion, the largest public works project in California history.
On April 16, 2009, President Obama unveiled his new High-Speed Rail Strategic Plan. Until this year, rail transportation has received less than three percent of all federal investment in intercity transportation infrastructure and the Northeast has the nation’s only high-speed rail corridor. In contrast, throughout the 20th century the United States has invested $1.8 trillion in our highway and aviation infrastructure. Now however, with oil prices climbing and mounting concern over climate change, investing in public infrastructure solely to support cars and planes in no longer sustainable. As President Obama’s Plan states, “a new approach is needed–one that responds to today’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges.” Railroads offer a solution as they can reduce pollution and congestion and efficiently transport people and goods between cities.
On September 20, 2007, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority (“TJPA”) selected Pelli Clark Pelli Architects and the Hines development firm to design and develop the new Transbay Transit Center and Transit Tower.