Contrary to news reports the project is not complete there's much more work that has to be done to completely finish the project requirements
Back to Park Street
September 23, 1998
There is still some touch painting going on around the bridge. Most of the work being done now is electrical. A new operating console will be installed, soon this will facilitate the bridge operation moving to the Oakland Side of the bridge. When this happens only the Oakland Leaf of the bridge will be operational. I will keep you posted here when the move happens.
December 8, 1998
In late November bridge operation was switched from the Alameda side of the bridge to the Oakland side to facilitate the installation of the new operation console and video monitors. The Oakland leaf of the bridge is the only operational leaf until the installation is complete. I will keep you posted here.
At this time the bridge was also closed to all vessel traffic do to a mechanical failure of the tail lock system. As of late 12/8/98 a temporary solution was being considered. All vessel's who may require a bridge opening at Park St. should call the bridge (510) 522-7282 as there maybe some opening restrictions.
December 20, 1998
The bridge is back to normal operation. The Oakland leaf is the only operational leaf. The new operating console is almost installed and the operation will be moved back to Main Alameda Tower and both leafs should the be functional. I keep you posted when that happens.
February 6, 1999
The new operation console has been installed and bridge operation is back to the Alameda Tower. The contract is almost complete. The Bridge is Shut down for normal vessel traffic, as there is a major problem with the locking mechanism's. There are openings but they are scheduled through the bridge office. If you need an opening contact the Bridge Office at (510) 535-0475 and make arrangements. The Bridge Operator cannot open the Bridge without a proper warning. A maintenance crew is needed to open the Bridge so coordination is necessary.
May 6, 1999
Most of the work has been completed. There are still many nagging problems with some of the new equipment that was installed. The Bridge is about as close to full operation since before the construction started. Currently there are no vessel restrictions for bridge openings. The only restriction is that the Oakland Side of the Bridge is the only operational leaf. If you have a large vessel that's needs both leafs you can make special arrangements with the bridge office for a full opening (510) 535-0475. People its getting really close.
May 25, 1999
The Park Street Bridge is close to being returned to full operation. You may have noticed if you've been caught in a traffic jam. :) There have been over 40 functional test openings in the last few days. Except for a major problem popping up the bridge should be returned to full operational status on May 27, 1999. If anything happens that will cause a delay I will post it here.
June 1, 1999
Park Street is now in full operation as of late May 27, 1999. It's the first time it has been in full operation since the renovation contract began. There are still some bugs that have to be worked out in the locking mechanisms and some other issues but it's back.
I still hate that green paint job. Personally the green paint job ruins the visual look of the bridge it should be silver or metal color so the design of the bridge comes out. The bridge now looks like a big green hump. If you get a chance take a look at the High Street Bridge with the silver paint job and see how it compares to the Park Street Bridge. Email me if you have some comments. email@example.com
While the renovation project may seem like just a paint job there is substantial work going on above and below the bridge and under the water. The paint job is a very complex project as the paint and primer is lead based and must be contained. The bridge is enclosed in a confinement tent that keeps the old paint from entering the water or elsewhere. The Paint is then vacuumed and trucked away for disposal. The bridge is going to be completely stripped down to the metal then re-primered and painted. The Alameda Leaf has been painted the Oakland Leaf is currently under the tent and being worked on. The Bridge is painted in a dark green color. I preferred the silver color used on High Street but I'm not paying the bills.
The Park Street Bridge is currently closed to all vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The bridge is still open to vessel traffic using the Alameda Leaf of the bridge. This will change as the project continues, call the bridge (522-7282) to determine which leaf of the bridge is open. Also the bridge is completely shut to vessel's when certain work is done. Check The Coast Guard Marine Notices for closures or call the bridge office (535-0475) for details.
There's an ongoing 5.6 million dollar project to renovate and paint the bridge. The bridge is 63 years old and was in need of some retrofitting and paint. The project includes a complete stripping of all paint and primer. The bridge is currently being painted and primed with more environmentally safe materials. The old pedestrian walkways were demolished and new walkways were installed. The old walkways were almost impossible for persons in wheelchair's to negotiate. The new walkways have a gradual slope and rest points making it much easier to use.
New submarine cables are being installed, these carry the power cables under the water that power the bridge. This is very tricky and expensive work. The old cables were beginning to leak and cause electrical problems. The new submarine cables will last for almost 50 years. The new power cables will be hooked up to brand new operator consoles. The new operator consoles will provide for more efficient operation of the bridge and provide more data to the bridge operators to trouble shoot any problems that may occur. This is the main improvement the operators were looking at for years.
In the Renovation Project are the complete replacement of the Barrier, Tail Lock, and Center Lock Systems. The Barrier System consists of cables that travel down a steel structure. They are designed as a impediment for vehicles. While they won't stop a car traveling at a high rate of speed they will do significant damage to a car if breached. The Tail Lock System locks the tail end of the bridge. Each leaf contains a tail lock. When the Tail Locks are engaged they keep the tail end of the bridge from moving when the bridge is in the down position. A hydraulic system will replace the electromechanical system in use now. The Center Lock is also a locking system that locks the two leafs together in the center. This keeps the bridge from bouncing in the middle while the bridge is in the down position. A new hydraulic system will replace the existing electromechanical system.
The Pedestrian Walkways on the bridge are being replaced. The metal decking was removed because of heavy rust and is being replaced by new steel decks. The vehicle roadway is also sustaining work while the deck is not being replaced there is welding and sealing being done to help preserve the roadway deck.
New energy efficient roadway and approach way lights are being installed and closed circuit monitors and cameras are going to be installed to aid the in the operation of the bridge. Park Street Bridge has many blind spots the cameras and monitors will help the operators ensure that pedestrians are in a safe area before opening the bridge. The security system should keep the vandals from braking into the many bridge areas.
In 1996 the Bridge Maintenance Department installed a new leaf drive system that greatly improved the operation of Park Street. They did a excellent job and saved the County money by doing the project in house.