With views overlooking the San Francisco Bay, the Bay Bridge is a well-known construction in northern California, expanding between San Francisco and Oakland. Since its opening back in 1936, it has gone through a number of upgrades and renovations, as any bridge typically does. Recently, the eastern span of the bridge was shut down while undergoing major repairs when it hit a huge snag in its renovations. According to this article, 32 of the bridge’s 17-foot long bolts cracked due to poor material quality and hydrogen infections. Illustrating the importance of fasteners in a huge construction project, the opening of the bridge has now been delayed.
If you looked across the bay, you would see San Francisco’s other famous bridge, the Golden Gate. Found in many famous photographs and attracting thousands of tourists, the Golden Gate’s integrity is a necessary part of its existence. It’s important that, like its Bay Bridge counterpart, faulty parts are not discovered. When it comes to the Golden Gate’s construction, this is something we know much about, as we are a continuous supplier of fasteners to the bridge engineers.
The upkeep on any bridge is a 365-days a year project, for its engineers and its suppliers, like us. Sections of the bridge will be taken apart and at this point, it is determined what repair and replacement fasteners are needed. When it comes to the fasteners, the designers decided the types of bolts that are going to be used; they will specify what they need, and suppliers will provide those bolts. Since maintenance is done year-round, these parts are needed as quickly as possible. On our end, this means custom making the needed bolts and sending them out with as little lead time as possible. The biggest challenge? Ensuring they are of the highest quality, for we would never want our bolts to be faulty, causing delays in the bridge’s construction. This means following a variety of standards, including ISO, as well as investing in strong materials and using proven machining processes.
A bridge can only be as strong as its fasteners and as bolt and nut suppliers, it’s our hope that any bridge’s integrity is the nuts and bolts of its maintenance.