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Firm: Bay Bridge bolts made to exact specs

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POSTED May 24, 2013 9:56 p.m.

OAKLAND  (AP) — An executive with an Ohio manufacturer has said steel bolts used on a troubled new span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge were made exactly to specifications.

Experts have spent the past two months trying to determine why 32 of 96 bolts broke after they were tightened in March.

A report released on May 7 by Caltrans suggests the bridge design team ordered a type of steel that under some conditions could become brittle and fracture.

"Our customers give us the specifications, and we make parts to these specifications," Dyson Corp. sales director Dustin Johnson told the publication American Metal Market, the Contra Costa Times (http://bit.ly/14ZAIDe) reported Thursday.

Johnson also said the Caltrans report "exonerates" his company,

Caltrans spokesman Will Shuck said Dyson's choice of the word exonerates surprised him.

"I don't think we've accused anybody of anything," Shuck told the newspaper. "Caltrans and the (bridge) partners are focused on their investigation and to moving forward with their solution."

The newspaper also reported that Dyson President Brian Rawson recently said in a video statement that the company had met its obligations and the Caltrans report confirms it.

"Through this report and mutual internal investigations, it was concluded that the Dyson Corp. met its requirements on fulfilling its order to the specifications requested," Rawson said.

On Thursday, workers began drilling holes for special saddles that will hold strands of steel rope.

The rods, an earthquake safety feature, are part of the new $6.3 billion project to replace a span damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.

Caltrans estimated the repairs could cost as much as $10 million. It's unclear if the repairs will be completed in time for the bridge's scheduled opening on Sept. 3.

 

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