The old San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, deemed earthquake unsafe a few years ago, is being torn down piece-by-piece after its replacement was completed nearby. But rather than sending all of the valuable steel out-of-state and overseas, parts of the 77-year-old structure, which is comprised of around 58,000 tons of steel and 245,000 tons of concrete, will be set aside for public art in the Bay Area, allowing the historic bridge to remain a part of the community.
The new Bay Bridge is located in the vicinity of the old one and after the new bridge was completed last year, deconstruction began on the old bridge. Some of the valuable steel has already been sheared to size and shipped throughout the country and abroad. But a group of San Francisco-based artists have been petitioning to keep parts of the structure in the city for art.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) approved the plan to supply around $2.2 million to salvage steel that would be used by local artists. The department could start receiving proposals from artists as soon as next year and we’re excited to see the ideas, which could include anything from light poles to gazebos and giant steel robots.