No - that's the "before" shot - THIS is the "after" -
This is fantastic, but if the thing is falling apart too much to hold cars, where's the evidence it can hold 4-6 stories of habitation space? But the idea is so good. Good and stupid at the same time.
The part of the bridge that broke was one they'd just replaced a couple of months ago, when the bridge was out of service for scheduled maintenance. I took that to suggest that something was screwed up in the replacement process, and not that the entire bridge is decrepit.
Welcome to the United States of recently-almost-entirely-Republican America, where it turns out that almost all the bridge and road infrastructure in the entire country is decrepit! Because selfish xenophobes would rather lose the vibrant economy they and their parents enjoyed by voting mindlessly for less taxes and small government, meaning out-of-work laborers, a shrinking middle class, and a consumer economy with an awful lot of out-of-work consumers unable to pay much in taxes or consume enough to keep the stupid selfish voters out of work. Or, to paraphrase Condi "it's your baby" Rice, I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would burn enough fossil fuel to whip up the kinds of wind that would damage the bridge enough to shake something loose two years from the end of the bridge's stated lifetime.
I take your point -- I remember a number of the Katrina-era reports indicating that we're courting disaster all over the place, but we're much more willing to spend money to recover from a disaster than to prevent it. Still, the specific way the bridge failed makes me want to blame the recent construction rather than the entire structure or its overall upkeep. I guess that's mostly an off-the-cuff idea, though; I haven't gathered the engineering information that would answer the question.
Lots of engineering details and pictures here: http://www.sci-experiments.com/BrokenBridge/BrokenBridge.html. Summary: During Labor Day, they didn't actually replace anything, they just bolted on a band-aid (that broke). The fix is a new and improved band-aid. His closing editorial comment: "Cal Trans: Do you really think this patch is going to last until you pull the bridge down in 2013? Can we just bite the bullet, replace the Eyebars and get on with it?"
Thanks! It was seeming weird that all the sources I checked described the repairs, and the failure, but didn't describe how they were related.
Where do you get 2013? I heard that the reinsurers have wanted them to completely replace the Eastern span since 1989.