Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

By Charles Piller

The California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee will hold a hearing today to address concerns raised in an ongoing Bee investigation about the adequacy of state bridge testing.

The articles identified concerns about the construction and examination of reinforced concrete foundations for the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge main tower and other Bay Area toll bridges, and about their ability to withstand an extreme earthquake. The hearing will offer California Department of Transportation Officials an opportunity to respond to issues raised in articles. Caltrans previously has dismissed concerns about the Bay Bridge.

The agency "must adequately resolve questions about the quality of (seismic upgrade and inspection) work," according to the committee's background paper. It added that the Senate hearing "will identify potential next steps" toward reassuring the public and the legislature about Bay Area bridges.

Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord), committee chairman, previously said that the panel "will be as relentless and tenacious as required" to get to the truth about bridge safety.

Officials from the Federal Highway Administration and the state Legislative Analyst's Office also will testify. The informational hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. in room 4203 of the State Capitol building.

Call The Bee's Charles Piller, (916) 321-1113, or follow him on Twitter @cpiller.


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