(The Bay Bridge’s eastern span, with San Francisco in the background. On the right is the old, doomed span. A new suspension bridge will go on the left.)
The Bay Bridge is being amputated. Its eastern span, connecting Oakland to Yerba Buena Island before continuing on to San Francisco, is scheduled to be demolished to make way for a spankin’ new suspension bridge, now under construction. For most people, it’s about damn time: the eastern span is downright gangrenous, threatening to collapse altogether in the next big quake. (Since the Bay Line proposal last year, a huge crack covered the deck in 5,000 pounds of rubble, closing the bridge for repairs.) Chop it off, already!
Not so fast. Those Bay Line designers aren’t giving up. The pair behind the project, Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael, helped juror a design charrette at UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design that produced even more wild proposals, including one to turn the western end of the span into a cruise-ship-like hotel and another that features this nine-story hotel and terraced farms.
Check out more projects here.
Will they happen? Probably not. But then again, Giuliani came this close to wrecking the High Line, and about a decade later it’s the best park in the city. With the country’s infrastructure in such dire straits, anything’s an option. But with all this attention being paid to the Bay Bridge, what other deserving relics are being overlooked?WB