When the magnitude 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake struck Northern California on Oct. 17, 1989, the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB) system, known locally as the Bay Bridge, was one of the major man-made structures that sustained damage. A section of the east span’s upper deck collapsed onto the lower deck, killing one person and forcing a month-long closure of one of the most important transportation arteries in the region. California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) officials and project partners needed to know how much movement had occurred across the original east span due to the collapsed and damaged deck sections. Unfortunately, as-built measurement records of the Bay Bridge and the other major bridges in the Bay Area did not exist, so obtaining a quantitative assessment on the entire original east span truss section deformation was not possible.
Capturing an accurate 3D as-built of the entire San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge under a tight timeline required state-of-the-art technology, survey expertise and the vision to know it was possible.
This article was written by Vicki Speed for LiDAR News.