John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
A relic of the old San Francisco-Oakland span has a date with the reaper.
Fans of things that go boom should stay tuned Saturday, when a section of the old San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge meets its maker in an explosion of dust and seawater.
Caltrans has scheduled the demolition of the E-4 pier sometime between 11:16 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. (check its website for updates). It’s one of the few remaining marine foundations of the bridge’s original east span, now replaced with a shiny but majorly troubled new span. The controlled implosion will take less than 4 seconds and will involve roughly 12,000 pounds of explosives, according to Caltrans.
“Significant environmental monitoring will take place pre, during and post blast, including water quality, sonar, marine mammal, and fish,” writes the agency. “October provides the window when the least possible number of fish and marine mammals are present in the area. There will be brief impacts to water quality, turbidity is expected to dissipate in just over an hour, and implementation is relatively easy with low risk to human safety.”
The demolition will be streamed on YouTube from a nearby island and also a bike path. For what to expect, check out a similar demolition from earlier this month above and this footage from last November looking like Godzilla rising from the water: