The bridges in the San Francisco Bay region are among the most iconic in the world. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, known simply as the Bay Bridge, originally opened in 1936, and is one of the longest in the United States. It has undergone many repairs and renovations since its inception, but the damage incurred during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake left area leaders dreaming of a new, safer span. Lubrite® Technologies is proud to have played a role in making this dream become a reality as the construction of the new Bay Bridge has recently been completed. The new Bay Bridge includes the world’s largest Self-Anchored Suspension Span (SAS). At Lubrite® Technologies, we played a vital role in the project by providing bearings that facilitate the movement of the SAS.
The contracting team behind this project came to Lubrite® Technologies to help design and engineer the unique bearings that accommodate the movement of this bridge. A number of large, complex, and unusually shaped parts were required. We customized several of our products to help complete this project, including the following:
- Lubrite® Elongated Self Aligning Spherical Assemblies (Hinge K)
- Lubrite® Self Aligning Spherical Assemblies (Pier E 2)
- Lubrite® Bronze Split Spherical Housing (Shear Key)
- Lubrite® Self Aligning Spherical Assemblies (Tower)
Customizing these products was a challenging task. The bearings needed to be large enough to accommodate the massive SAS system. The design also needed to account for seismic, weather sea water conditions, as well as account for the day to day traffic on one of the busiest bridges in the world. Our engineering expertise satisfied all of the design challenges, and our extensive manufacturing capabilities enabled prompt completion of the project. Our large, four axis CNC boring mill enabled us to complete these uniquely shaped products exactly to our customer’s specifications. Upon completion, we arranged for transportation from our Meadville, Pennsylvania facility to San Francisco, California. This was a considerable enterprise in itself, as the large size and weight of the parts required special transportation accommodations.
Despite the challenges associated with this project, we had all the necessary design expertise and manufacturing equipment to complete these customized bearings for an on-time delivery. Our logistics expertise also enabled a smooth delivery across the country. Our bearings play a pivotal role in San Francisco’s newest signature span, and will facilitate transportation in the Bay Area for years to come. To learn more about this project or to find out how we can benefit your bearing design challenges, please contact us directly.