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San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span Seismic Safety

Oakland, California

Market Sector



Segmental, Suspension

Services Provided

Design, Construction Phase Services, Seismic Analysis and Design



In The News

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Photo Credit: Sam Burbank Photography
Photo Credit: Noah Berger Photography
Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography
Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography
Photo Credit: Brooke Duthie Photography

T.Y. Lin International leads the joint venture of T.Y. Lin International and Moffatt & Nichol Engineers as Engineer of Record for the replacement of the 2.1-mile eastern span of the Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland. From conceptual and final design through construction support services, T.Y. Lin International has been involved in all phases of developing the world’s longest single-tower, self-anchored suspension bridge.

Project Highlights:

  • The new Bay Bridge features a record-setting self-anchored suspension span of 1,263 feet.
  • It is the first suspension bridge constructed with no connection between the deck and tower.
  • The project features the first use of a shear link fuse in the 525-ft steel tower of a cable-supported bridge.
  • Precast girder segments for the Skyway weigh 300 to 800 tons—the largest ever built in the world.
  • State-of-the-art hinge pipe beams were designed and built at the expansion joints between bridge frames.

The design of the Bay Bridge features two main sections: an asymmetric suspension bridge (with a main span of 1263 feet and back span of 591 feet) and a 1.2-mile twin, streamlined concrete segmental skyway. Located near two major California fault lines, the unique tower of the suspension bridge is comprised of four steel shafts connected by shear link beams, designed to protect the load-bearing shafts in the event of an earthquake. A single cable gracefully drapes from the tower’s top and loops back below the west end, with slender suspender cables that attach the main cable to the girders beneath the deck of the roadway. The Bay Bridge is also the first suspension bridge constructed with no connection between the deck and tower. Its suspenders provide the only connection between the box girders and the tower.

The Skyway makes up the longest section of the new East Span. Featuring sweeping, side-by-side decks, the bridge accommodates total of10 lanes of traffic in both directions and a steel bicycle/pedestrian path on the south side—said to be the longest bike path over water in the world. With the construction of the Skyway, engineers have witnessed significant advancements in concrete bridge design and construction.

The Skyway was designed with an optimum span length of 524 feet. The viaducts are composed of five frames to reduce the number of expansion joints needed. The frames serve the dual purpose of accommodating sliding movement but maintaining rigidity to resist seismic motion. California’s largest public works project affords a sweeping panorama for motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists alike.

Global Road Achievement Award for Design, 2014
International Road Federation (IRF)
Award of Excellence, Infrastructure, 2014
Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC)
Award of Excellence, 2014
Portland Cement Association (PCA)
Excellence in Structural Engineering Award, 2014
National Council of Structural Engineers Associations (NCSEA)
America's Transportation Award for Best Use of Innovation, 2014
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)
Excellence in Transportation Award, Major Structures, 2014
California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
Globe Award, Bridges (Projects > $100 Million), 2014
American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)
Special Recognition Award, 2014
California Transportation Foundation (CTF)
Project of the Year Award, 2013
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), Region 9
Outstanding Transportation Project Award, 2013
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), San Francisco Section