1989: San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge Earthquake Collapse 97
(UC Berkeley Library, 1999). After building was completed in 1936, the
first major earthquake (at least 6.0 in magnitude) that the bridge experi-
enced was the Loma Prieta earthquake.
Bai, M., Drip, drip, drip. NY Times Sun Mag, 78, June 8, 2003.
Barron, J., Utilities disrupted; thousands evacuated at World Series game—6.9 on Richter. NY
Times, A1, October 18, 1989.
California Alliance for Jobs (CAFJ), The Bridge: East Span Design Basics & Seismic Safety.
2005. http://www.newbaybridge.org/the_bridge/east_span_design_basics.html.
California State Parks, The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge Photo Collection. 2004.
Chea, T., McClintock calls Bay Bridge project a “fiasco,Sacramento Union, A1, March 16,
Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge,
Spanning San Francisco Bay. HAER No. CA-32. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress,
1999. 273 p. 20 drawings.
Schmidt, S., A bridge to nowhere, San Diego Union-Tribune, A1, May 8, 2005.
State of California, California Environmental Quality Act. 2005. http://www.co.el-dorado.ca.us/
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Proposed Alternatives to Retrofit/Replace the East Span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay
Bridge October 27, 2000. http://www.oaklandbridge.com.
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1. List missed opportunities for upgrading the stability of the San
Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge. Why was the bridge never stabilized to
survive a major earthquake?
2. Read “Drip, Drip, Drip, which appeared in the New York Times Sunday
Magazine in 2003 (Bai, 2003). State and city budgets must be balanced
each year, whereas the federal budget is allowed to be in deficit. How
does a federal deficit affect a state’s budget?
3. Name some of the top budget issues for the state of California this
year. How important is Bay Bridge stability compared with these
other issues?
4. Throughout the 20th century, the aesthetic of the Golden Gate Bridge,
which connects San Francisco to Sausalito, has been praised over that of the
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98 Engineering Ethics: An Industrial Perspective
original Bay Bridge. One of the protests to Governor Schwarzenegger’s
proposal is that the removal of the self-anchored suspension span will
render the new bridge a “freeway on stilts. How important are aesthetics
to the bridge design process?
5. Investigate the backgrounds and analytic process of the Engineering
and Design Advisory Panel (EDAP) tasked in 1997 with selecting the
design of the new Bay Bridge. Did the engineers on this panel adhere to
the professional responsibilities described in Chapter 1? Did they
engage in any of ethical dilemmas detailed in Chapter 1?
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