The San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge New East Span, USA

The San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge New East Span, USA, has been awarded with the IABSE Outstanding Structure Award 2015. This Award recognises the most remarkable, innovative, creative or otherwise stimulating structure completed within the last few years.

The Outstanding Structure Award Committee 2015, chaired by Paul Lüchinger Switzerland, made the following statement: “With a ground-breaking advanced bridge design the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge New East Span demonstrates how innovations in seismic engineering can become the bridge to making history”.

Located between faults capable of producing destructive earthquakes, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge New East Span is a regional lifeline structure with a 150-year design life and designed to open to emergency traffic within days after a major seismic event. It features engineering innovations and advancements including shear link beams in the single tower, hinge pipe beams and specially designed expansion joints in the bridge decks, and foundations that reach up to 91 meters below the water’s surface to anchor in stable soils. A dramatic signature bridge, the East Span has been designed to save lives while enhancing the Bay Area.

The East Span project was faced with rigorous seismic safety criteria, challenging geological conditions, and local community groups determined to secure a landmark bridge. What seemed like insurmountable obstacles became an opportunity to explore ground-breaking advances in bridge design. This project demonstrates how innovations in seismic engineering can become the bridge to making history.