California’s high-speed rail to nowhere is still a mess. ‘Horrible sequence of mistakes’: How bullet train contractors botched a bridge project.
So they needed to build a bridge with a span of 636 feet to allow car/truck traffic to cross the high-speed rail right-of-way, and part of the existing freight tracks. This is not the longest bridge ever built, but before it was even completed, it started to fall down.
High-strength steel strands supporting the 636-foot-long structure began to snap on Oct. 22, one after another. Ultimately, 23 of the strands, which are comprised of seven individual wires each, broke unexpectedly, according to rail authority documents and officials. The order to stop work was issued Nov. 4.
A forensic engineering analysis, obtained by The Times, found that the strands corroded from rainwater that had leaked into the internal structure of the bridge and then broke.
The bureaucracy on the rail project is amazing, even by 21st Century government standards. And everyone is pointing the finger at everyone. And in the meantime people are stuck. Construction, which was supposed to take a year, is now up to 4. Detours around the site are long.
“The layers on this project are onerous,” said William Ibbs, a UC Berkeley civil engineering professor who has consulted on high-speed-rail projects around the world. “The levels of administration and review are very unusual. No one company is going to be wholly to blame if something goes wrong, because they can spread the blame around.”
Post tensioned concrete for structures are not new. They are used to build most parking garages today, a lot of highway bridges. This is just stupid. And the fact that they have arranged things so that no one will be held accountable is criminal.
And to review, the 20-billion-dollar high-speed rail, if it is ever complete, will connect Merced to Bakersfield. Merced is more than 100 miles from Oakland and the Bay Area, and Bakersfield is more than 100 miles from Los Angeles. Given that high-speed-rail is NOT freight, this won’t be an auto-train, so you will need some way to get from Bakersfield to LA, or from Merced to the Bay Area. I’m sure that they will have bus or train service (if possible) but not high-speed. And given that you can currently fly round-trip from San Jose to LA for about 110 bucks, and be dropped at the airport where there are lots of rental cars… So what is the purpose of this train? To prove the insanity of government? (Hat tip to William Teach)