See the San Francisco Bay Bridge Being Dismantled, Piece by Piece

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How do you dismantle a two-mile long bridge? Piece by piece, in roughly the reverse order of how it was built back in the 1930s.

Julie Caine, our colleague over at San Francisco's public radio (and dance party video making) station KALW, sent in these photos. They're of the old east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which was replaced last year. "Most people only glimpse this incredible feat for a few seconds as they whiz by while driving across the new bridge," she writes. "It almost seems hazardous, because you can't help but gawk at this while you're driving. Traffic slows down perceptibly at this point in the eight-mile bridge crossing. Even if you don't want to look, you can't help it."

Julie took some of the photos from the Oakland-to-San Francisco ferry, and some from the (as yet incomplete) bike path of the Bay Bridge's new east span.

The California Department of Transportation says it will take three to five years to demolish the span. When the entire project is complete, according to the website, "over 58,000 tons of steel and 245,000 tons of concrete will have been removed."

The state decided against using explosives due to environmental concerns.

All photos by Julie Caine.


A window full of hard hats in the Bay Bridge paint shop



Some of these photos were taken from the as-yet-to-be-finished bike path over the new east span of the Bay Bridge

All photos by Julie Caine.