MTC’s Bay Area Toll Authority Oversight Committee on Wednesday approved an asset management policy and a set of objectives for the continued maintenance and operation of the Bay Area’s seven state-owned toll bridges.
The policy is based on four principles: focusing on people and safety; addressing maintenance and rehabilitation costs over each bridge’s entire life cycle; adopting a quantifiable approach to asset management; and promoting sustainability and ongoing enhancements to each span. The full Bay Area Toll Authority will consider the asset management policy at its Jan. 24 meeting.
The state-owned bridges are maintained through a now 25-year-old partnership between Caltrans and BATA that since 2007 has invested $1.7 billion in toll funds on restoring the bridges and associated toll facilities. BATA’s Capital Improvement Plan commits another $1.8 billion for toll bridge upkeep through 2033.
BATA last year completed a comprehensive life-cycle analysis to guide maintenance and rehabilitation plans for the eastbound Carquinez Bridge and the southbound Benicia-Martinez Bridge and is now working with Caltrans to prepare an updated assessment of all seven toll bridges’ maintenance needs over the next 50 years. This assessment is scheduled for completion in 2025.
With the Bay Bridge West Span (opened in 1936), the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge (1956) and the eastbound Carquinez Bridge (1958) now senior citizens, and the original Benicia-Martinez (1962), San Mateo-Hayward (1967), Antioch (1978) and Dumbarton (1984) bridges into or approaching middle age, a growing share of toll dollars will be needed to keep these bridges in a state of good repair.
Prolonging the lifespans of Bay Area toll bridges also was the subject of a tour of the Benicia-Martinez and Carquinez bridges conducted last week for Assembly Transportation Committee Chair Lori Wilson by Caltrans District 4 Director and MTC Commissioner Dina El-Tawansy and MTC Commissioner Jim Spering as well as staff from MTC, Caltrans and the Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA). The group used a chartered San Francisco Bay Ferry vessel to get an up-close look at both bridges and learn about the long-term maintenance of all seven state-owned spans.