The problems with the Bay Bridge are not yet resolved, but a panel of experts has indicated that the Bridge is ready and safe to open. Not surprisingly, other experts disagree. Just like in a construction case, experts can reach completely different opinions based on identical facts.
Caltrans, the bureaucratic agency overseeing the Bay Bridge project, established the Toll Bridge Seismic Safety Peer Review Panel to assist with the construction of the Bay Bridge project. The Panel is made up of professors and professionals in the industry, and is the very panel that decided that the bolts, which are not breaking, should be galvanized.
As in litigation, other professionals are questioning the legitimacy of the Panel’s decisions. For example, a University of California, Berkeley professor has stated that he has no confidence in any material-related decisions on the Bridge. He notes that the same people telling Caltrans that the Bridge is now safe are the same people who made the decisions that caused the problems in the first place.
This situation is closely tracking the battle of the experts often found in construction cases. Both sides’ experts bring credibility to the table and have apparently examined the same data in reaching their conclusions. Yet, one says the Bridge is not safe and the other says the Bridge is safe.