United States GAO General Accounting Office Washington, D.C. 20548 San Francisco Regional Office B-237961.3 June 19,199O The Honorable Jamie L. Whitten Chairman, Committee on Appropriations House of Representatives The Honorable Glenn M. Anderson Chairman, Committee on Public Works and Transportation House of Representatives On October 17,1989, the Loma Prieta Earthquake struck northern Cali- fornia, causing the collapse of a two-level, 1.25-mile-long section of the Cypress Viaduct on Interstate Route 880 in Oakland; 42 people were killed. A section of the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oak- land also collapsed, resulting in one death. In accordance with House Report 101-301, Further Continuing Appro- priations, 1990, dated October 23, 1989, and subsequent agreements with your offices, this report provides information on (1) what the Cali- fornia Department of Transportation (cdnan~) knew about the struc- tures’ vulnerability to earthquake forces before they collapsed, (2) federal and state funding available and expended in California to strengthen bridge and viaduct’ structures subject to earthquake forces, and (3) funding needed to complete California’s seismic retrofit program. . The Cypress Viaduct was 1 of about 9,700 bridges in California that Results in Brief were built before current earthquake standards. After the 1971 San Fer- nando Earthquake, cal~rans engineers realized that the support columns and decks on all bridges designed before 1971 were potentially vulner- able to earthquake damage. They began what evolved into a three-phase retrofit program to correct the deficiencies. Retrofit work was given lower priority than other safety projects and at the time of the Loma Prieta Earthquake-18 years later--calTrans had completed one of the three phases. This phase corrected what C~~TIXIIS believed to be the most critical problem, the potential for deck sections to separate and collapse on all bridges considered to be vulnerable, including the Cypress Viaduct. ‘While a bridge is an elevated structure over water and a viaduct is an elevated structure over land, we refer to both types of stmctures as bridges. Page 1 GAO/RCED9@177 Loma Prieta Earthquake B-237961.3 After studying the Cypress Viaduct’s collapse, cal~ransengineers discov- ered a weakness in the Cypress’ columns which they believe, when cou- pled with the effects of the earthquake on the soft soils underlying the structure, led to its collapse. This weakness was in addition to the defi- ciencies common to all bridge columns designed before 1971. cal~rans engineers believe they would have identified this weakness had the retrofit program progressed to phase three. They further believe that, had soil conditions been factored into the retrofit program’s priority scheme, the Cypress Viaduct would have been scheduled for work sooner. The San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge, also built before 1971, was rein- forced in the mid-1970s to protect it against earthquake damage or col- lapse. However, cal~ran~ officials did not believe that the section which collapsed during the Loma Prieta Earthquake was vulnerable and had not reinforced it at this point. According to FHWA officials, California has received over $5.5 billion in federal-aid highway assistance since 1975 (the first year for which information is available) for programs that include seismic retrofit projects as an eligible activity. Of the $4.2 billion available to cal~rans, cal~ran~officials estimate that they spent about $54 million between 1971 and 1989 in federal and state funds to complete the first phase of the seismic retrofit program-tying together the road deck section of 1,26 1 bridges to prevent separation and collapse. The second phase- strengthening the columns of 392 or more single-column bridges-is scheduled for completion by December 1991 and will cost about $150 million to complete. The third and final phase-strengthening the col- umns of at least 700 multicolumn structures-is still being researched. As a result, a cost estimate is not yet available. To centralize its control over the retrofit program and to help ensure that all work is completed by December 1993, cal~rans has been reorga- nized internally. However, the state has not yet committed sufficient funding to complete the program. The decision was deferred until after June 5,199O. On that date, voters considered and approved a ballot measure intended to make additional transportation funds available. The vulnerability of bridges to earthquake effects was first brought to Background the state’s attention in 1971, when the San Fernando Earthquake destroyed five Southern California bridges. The destruction demon- strated weaknesses in the existing seismic design standards for bridges, Page 2 GAO/MXD-W-177 Lmna Prieta Jkthquake t , F&237961.3 particularly in road deck and support column design features. cal~rans therefore revised its design standards for the construction of new bridges in 1974, which were then adopted and periodically revised by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Offi- cials. The Association promulgates bridge design standards, which the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) endorses for use on federally funded projects. Generally, to receive federal funding, states must demonstrate compliance with the Association’s standards. Bridges built before the standards were revised, however, needed to be strengthened to overcome the design weaknesses identified after the San Fernando Earthquake. ca.man~ developed internal guidelines in 1975 for retrofitting to prevent deck separation and is currently working on guidelines for column retrofitting schemes. The Association, however, has not yet adopted retrofitting standards. According to FHWA officials, federal-aid highway funds are available to states for seismic retrofitting through five programs: Consolidated Pri- mary System; Secondary System; Urban System; Interstate Resurfacing, Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction; and Bridge Replace- ment and Rehabilitation. However, F’HWA does not earmark funds to meet seismic retrofitting needs; states spend the funds according to their own priorities. States generally match federal funds by contributing 10 to 25 percent, depending on the program, of a project’s costs. States may not use federal funds for toll bridges such as the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge, but Congress did allow emergency relief funds allocated after the Loma Prieta Earthquake to be used for repairing the San Fran- cisco/Oakland Bay Bridge. In California, the legislature determines the amount of cal~ran~’ budget and makes some determinations about how the budget should be distrib- uted across the state. The California Transportation Commission is responsible for determining how these funds will be allocated among transportation programs and approves individual projects at the time projects are ready to be advertised. Page 3 GAO/RCED-99477 Loma Prieta JSarthquake , I B237961.3 At the time of the Loma Prieta Earthquake, cal~ransofficials knew that Cypress Viaduct Had the Cypress Viaduct, a double-deck, multicolumn structure built before Known Weaknesses 1971, had insufficiently reinforced support columns that were vulner- but Was Not able to earthquake damage. Before the Loma Prieta Earthquake, no mul- ticolumn bridge had collapsed during an earthquake. cal~ran~officials Considered Li .kely to anticipated that a major earthquake could damage the columns, but did Collapse not believe that the roadway would collapse. They now believe that, in addition to the reinforcement deficiencies common to all pre-1971 struc- tures, the Cypress structure had other deficiencies in its columns, which engineers working on CalTram seismic retrofit program did not know existed, and which CalTram believes may have led to the collapse. The need for seismic retrofitting became apparent when the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake severely damaged five bridges and disclosed the need to tie bridge decks together and to reinforce support columns. After this earthquake, C~IX.IIS revised its standards for new construc- tion and began what evolved into a three-phase seismic retrofit program to strengthen bridges built before 1971. (See app. II for a detailed expla- nation of the program.) Correcting deck weaknesses, the first phase, was given priority because cal~ran~ believed that these weaknesses were both more serious and less expensive to correct. This work was completed on the Cypress Viaduct in 1977 and on a total of 1,261 structures by 1989. Column work was considered less critical and was planned for later phases of the program. In addition, technology was not available for column retrofit work and needed to be developed. After studying the collapse, C~~TMSengineers now believe that the Cypress Viaduct had an additional, more serious weakness in its col- umns which, when combined with the amplified shaking motions in the soft soils underlying the structure, led to its collapse. (See app. III for a discussion of earthquake force measurements.) According to camram engineers, the reinforcement provided at the point where the columns joined the lower deck-the pedestal section-was insufficient to pre- vent the columns from breaking. (See app. I, figs. I.2 and 1.3.) It was at this point that many of the columns sheared off, causing parts of the upper and lower decks to collapse. (See app. I, figs. 1.4. and 1.5.) This design feature, according to cal~ran~ engineers, was only used on the Cypress Viaduct and six other viaducts built in San Francisco about the same time, which were severely damaged but did not collapse. CalTrans engineers working on the retrofit program after 1971 were not aware that any bridges contained this design feature and thus did not address it in the retrofit program. However, they now believe that an inspection Page 4 GAO/RCJD-9&177 Loma Prieta Earthquake B-237961.3 of the design and construction plans would have revealed the potential for collapse. cal~ran~had not inspected these plans before the Loma Prieta Earthquake, but planned to do so during the third phase of the statewide retrofit program which, at the time of the earthquake, had not yet begun. C~~TWSengineers were aware that soft soils were layered throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, including the area under the Cypress Viaduct and the Bay Bridge, but had not systematically gathered the information or incorporated it into the process used to determine the need for and criticality of retrofit work. They now believe that, if soil information had been used as a priority factor in the retrofit program, the Cypress Viaduct would have been given a much higher priority. Because of its exceptional size and complexity, the Bay Bridge is consid- Bay Bridge Damage ered a “special structure” to which standard engineering codes and stan- Was Not Anticipated dards do not apply. As a result, its retrofit needs were independently assessed during the 197Os, and the bridge was equipped with deck restrainers and other devices at points considered susceptible to earth- quake damage. The additional reinforcing of several of the piers has been planned since 1984. cal~a.t-t~did not consider the work urgent, how- ever, and it was not scheduled for completion at the time of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. According to C~~TWSofficials, the section that col- lapsed was not previously considered vulnerable and an independent engineering expert, studying the collapse under a National Science Foun- dation grant, told us it would not have been affected by the additional reinforcement planned for the piers. The collapsed section broke off of one of the strongest piers supporting the east bay section of the bridge. This pier was designed to absorb the energy of an earthquake and prevent shocks to other points along the bridge. According to cal~ran~engineers, the unanticipated magnitude of the horizontal motion caused by the Loma Prieta Earthquake broke the bolts holding the span to this pier, causing it to fall. (See app. I, fig. 1.6.) cal~ransofficials believe that a detailed structural analysis could have detected this section’s weakness. However, the bridge was not consid- ered vulnerable and, before the Loma Prieta Earthquake, such analyses were not performed because of their cost and complexity and because of the limited funds available. The analysis involves a computer simulation of how various shocks would affect about 27,000 possible stress points along the bridge’s 8.3~mile length. cal~ran~is now planning to conduct Page 6 GAO/RCED-90-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake I B-237661.3 detailed analyses of all seven San Francisco Bay crossings, as well as three large bridges in southern California. CdTrans officials estimate that the Bay Bridge analysis will cost about $300,000 and take a year to com- plete. The contract was awarded in April 1990. Funding Available for complete the first phase of its seismic retrofit program. Neither cal~rans Retrofit Work nor FHWA officials can readily estimate the federal share of these costs. cal~ran~did not separately account for funds spent on seismic retrofitting until after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. However, cal~rat~ budget offi- cials normally estimate the federal share at 85 percent when preparing budgets. This ratio would place the federal share of the seismic retrofit- ting work at about $46 million. FHWA has allocated more than $11 billion in federal-aid highway funds to California over the last 16 years to support transportation projects. Of this amount, over $5.5 billion was allocated for four programs which included seismic retrofitting work as an eligible activity: Interstate Resurfacing, Restoration, Rehabilitation, and Reconstruction; Consoli- dated Primary System; Secondary System; and Urban System. According to FHWA officials, CalTram could use the $4.2 billion available under the Interstate 4R, Primary, and Secondary programs to support its activities. The $1.3 billion made available to the state under the Urban System program was passed on to local governments. Funds from the Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacement Program may also be used for retrofitting work. However, it was not until 1990 that FMWA, in response to the Loma Prieta Earthquake, allowed bridge funds to be used on projects specifically designed to correct seismic deficien- cies. Previously, these funds could be used for seismic retrofitting work only when it was done in conjunction with other rehabilitation work. Although seismic retrofitting work is eligible for funding under four fed- eral-aid highway programs, the federal government does not specify the amount of funds to be spent for such work. States determine how much to spend for seismic retrofitting work on the basis of their own needs and priorities. According to FHWA officials, California has been a leader in researching and performing seismic retrofitting. In response to the Loma Prieta Earthquake and Hurricane Hugo, the Congress approved $1 billion in emergency relief funds which is avail- able to repair highways and bridges damaged by these disasters. Some Page 6 GAO/RCED-9Cb177 Loma Prieta Earthquake B237961.3 of these funds will be applied to the Bay Bridge repair costs and will be used to repair and retrofit other bridges damaged during the earth- quake, including the Embarcadero, China Basin, Southern, Alemeny, Terminal Separation, and Central viaducts in San Francisco. The emer- gency relief funds can also be used to rebuild the Cypress Viaduct.2 Before 1987, some retrofit projects were included in CalTrans’ State Transportation Improvement Plan, but funding was approved on a pro- ject-by-project basis after the projects were ready to be advertised for contract. After the 1987 Whittier Earthquake, the California Transpor- tation Commission approved cal~ran~’ request to set aside a lump sum for the second phase of the seismic retrofit program. cal~ran~proposed to use $64 million of its budget (which included funds from both state and fed- eral sources) over 4 years to strengthen single-column bridge structures. After the Loma Prieta Earthquake, the state legislature appropriated cal~ran~$60 million from the state’s disaster relief fund for retrofitting needs.3The legislature anticipated that this appropriation would be sup- plemented by federal funds. To raise the $60 million and to provide funds for other emergency relief needs, the legislature imposed a 13- month, quarter-cent sales tax increase. The legislature also mandated that all retrofit work be completed by December 1991. cal~ran~has not yet estimated the cost to complete all phases of the state- Cost to Complete the wide retrofit program. Officials have estimated it will cost $150 million Retrofit Program Is to complete most of the second phase of the retrofit program-strength- Unknown erring the support columns on 392 single-column bridges which need retrofitting. This amount could include over $127 million in federal funds and could increase as CalTrans continues to screen structures for retrofitting needs. CalTrans anticipates that this work will be completed by December 1991. cal~ran~does not know how much funding will be required to complete the third phase of the program-strengthening the support columns on multicolumn bridges. Although screening has not been completed, cal- crankofficials estimate that at least 700 such structures will need ‘We are currently reviewing the cost and status of the emergency relief program for California and its impact on the Highway Trust Fund. 3The legislature appropriated an additional $20 million to retrofit local bridges. Page 7 GAO/RCED+ML177 Loma Prieta Earthquake B-237961.3 retrofitting. In addition, the technology to retrofit multicolumn struc- tures is still being researched. As a result, CalTram will not be able to complete this work by the legislature’s December 1991 deadline, and has asked for an extension until December 1993. Because multicolumn bridge structures are more complex than single-column structures, cal- crankofficials expect the costs for multicolumn bridges to be higher. cal- crankofficials said an estimate for phase three work would not be available before December 1990. In past years, retrofitting work has been given lower priority than other CalTrans Has safety projects. The first phase took 18 years to complete. Retrofit Upgraded Priority of projects were identified by calnan~ headquarters and assigned to the Seism ic Retrofitting appropriate districts for completion. However, the districts received no additional resources specifically for retrofitting work. As a result, Work, but Future retrofit projects competed with other locally identified projects for pri- Fundir lg Is Uncertain ority and resources. According to calnan~ officials, safety and rehabilita- tion projects were assigned priority based on the number of lives lost in previous incidents. Thus, retrofit projects were accorded a relatively low priority because, until the Loma Prieta Earthquake, earthquake damage to state bridges had resulted in the loss of only two lives. Other projects, such as installing guard rails and median barriers, tended to take precedence because they were viewed as more critical to improving highway safety. As the phase one screening was completed and the appropriate district offices were notified of which bridges needed to be retrofitted, neither cal~ran~nor the California Transportation Commission monitored the retrofit program’s progress. Some districts completed the work quickly, while others did not. Although C~~TW-LS received approval in 1987 to reserve $64 million for retrofitting single-column bridges and viaducts, projects were not for- warded for funding until after the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake. According to C~~TWSofficials, some project designs were completed by June 1988, but funding problems and engineering resource constraints prevented their completion. As a result, the districts did not complete the site work needed to forward the projects for funding approval. Con- sequently, as of April 1990-30 months after the 1987 Whittier Earth- quake-no single-column retrofit projects had begun construction. However, three contracts were awarded in March 1990, and eight others had been advertised. Page 8 GAO/RCEINO-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake 7 E237961.3 According to cal~ran~officials, seismic retrofitting work will no longer compete with other projects for resources. To ensure that all retrofitting work is completed by December 1993, calnan~ has shifted engineering resources from the districts to headquarters to work solely on retrofit projects. cal~ran~has also established a separate budget for seismic retrofit projects and appointed a Seismic Retrofit Program Manager, who will oversee the projects to ensure that all necessary work is accomplished. Further, cal~rans is incorporating soil information into the data base maintained on the state’s bridges, and is working on a plan to incorporate the information into the seismic retrofitting program . In addition, cal~ransis providing the California Transportation Commission with monthly progress reports. Funding I to Complete cal~ran~new emphasis on retrofitting leaves open the question of where it will find the funds necessary to complete its program . Although cal- Retrofit Program Is Not ~ransis responsible for identifying state highway projects and estab- Assured lishing priorities, the California Transportation Commission determ ines how available funds will be spent and which of cal~ran~’ proposals will be approved for funding. As of May 1990, the Commission had not determ ined how it would make funds available to supplement the $60 m illion appropriated by the legislature for seismic retrofitting work. When the state legislature appropriated the $60 m illion from its emer- gency fund, it required that these funds be used to match federal funds to support the retrofit program . Commission officials anticipated that the emergency relief funds appropriated by the Congress after the Loma Prieta Earthquake could be used for this purpose. However, according to FHKA officials, federal emergency relief funds cannot be used for routine retrofitting work. Instead, the $60 m illion could be used to match fed- eral funds from the state’s annual federal-aid highway allocation. Assuming a 15-percent matching share, the $60 m illion state share could provide a total of about $340 m illion in federal-aid highway funds for the program . The proposed 1990-91 budget includes $291 m illion for seismic retrofit projects: $25 m illion in state funds and $266 m illion in federal funds. Because the costs to retrofit multicolumn bridges are expected to be higher than those for single-column bridges, $400 m illion may not be sufficient to complete all retrofitting work needed on the state highway system. In any case, an anticipated shortfall in California’s revenues could pre- vent the state from completing many transportation projects, including seismic retrofit work. State budget analysts have projected that by June Page 9 GAO/RCJZD-90-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake E237961.3 1994, the cumulative shortfall in the transportation budget will reach $4.5 billion in state and federal funds. To generate additional funds, the governor and legislature have approved an increase in the state gasoline tax. This increase will take effect as a result of voters’ approval of a June 1990 ballot measure to increase the state’s spending limit, which was passed by the voters in 1979.4 Raising the cap will allow the state to spend the additional gasoline tax revenues on highway projects. But even if the additional state revenues are realized, funding the bal- ante from California’s normal federal-aid highway program would require a substantial reallocation of funds already planned for other construction projects. According to the California Transportation Com- mission, the proposed 1990-91 budget would use $266 million, or 40 per- cent, of the state’s federal-aid program allocation. To prevent the delay of other construction projects, the Commission has recommended that the legislature appropriate additional state funds to the retrofit pro- gram. These funds could come from the state’s general fund or from the emergency funds generated by the temporary sales tax. To date, the leg- islature has not acted on this request. Although California’s three-phase seismic retrofit program was started Conclusions 18 years ago, only the first phase has been completed. CMTIWS gave higher priority to other highway projects considered more critical to highway safety. We recognize that making decisions regarding such pri- orities is difficult because of the number of important projects which compete for the funds available. However, had the retrofit program progressed to the third phase before the Loma Prieta Earthquake, cal- ~ransengineers believe they would have identified the flaw which they now think was a major contributing factor in the Cypress Viaduct’s col- lapse. With respect to the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge, cal~rans officials thought that it had been sufficiently retrofitted prior to the earthquake and did not consider it susceptible to collapse. In the wake of the Loma Prieta Earthquake, California has begun to focus more attention on completing its retrofit program. The state legis- lature has appropriated some of the funds needed for this work, and cal~ran~has created a separate budget and dedicated staff specifically for this effort. These are the types of actions needed if the retrofit pro- gram is to be completed by 1993. Actions taken after both the 1971 San 4The cap limits expenditures by stats and local governments to 1979 levels which have been @usted annually accmding to various factors, including changes in population and the cost of living. Page 10 GAO/lWEIMk177 Loma Prieta Earthquake A E237361.3 Fernando and the 1987 Whittier Earthquakes were not sufficient or sus- tained long enough to ensure the program’s completion, Only time will tell whether future actions will be sufficient to ensure that the retrofit program is completed as soon as possible. In commenting on our report, cal~ran~said that (1) our report should Agency Comments offer recommendations to help the Congress resolve the major policy decisions regarding a nationwide seismic safety program for transporta- tion; (2) California is committed to completing an aggressive, expedited seismic retrofit program; and (3) the only outstanding question is the federal government’s commitment to a comprehensive seismic retrofit program. Of these issues, this report addresses only California’s commit- ment to an expedited seismic retrofit program. We were not asked to review the need for a nationwide seismic safety program or the federal government’s commitment to California’s retrofit program. Specifically, our work focused on what cal~ran~knew about the condition of the two collapsed structures, what funds were available and have been spent on seismic retrofit work in California, and what funds will be needed to complete California’s seismic retrofit program. We recognize that California has renewed its attention to seismic retrofit work and has taken steps to complete it. However, past commitments have not resulted in the actions needed to correct deficiencies identified more than 18 years ago and, even with its current interest in the pro- gram, the commitment of funds needed to complete the program remains an outstanding issue. With respect to cal~ran~’comment that the only outstanding question is the commitment of the federal government, the federal government has provided cal~ran~over $4 billion since 1975 for federal-aid highway pro- grams that included seismic retrofit work as an eligible activity. Although it is not realistic to suggest that all of these funds should have been used for seismic retrofit, the fact that CalTram spent about 1 percent of these funds, about $46 million, on seismic retrofit projects reflects how the state set its priorities and commitment to seismic safety during this time period. The complete text of cal~ran~’comments are contained in appendix IV; our comments follow. We also discussed the contents of this report with FWWA officials respon- sible for seismic safety activities. They said that, in their view, the report provides a fair and accurate account of the issues addressed. At their suggestion, a few minor technical changes were incorporated Page 11 GAO~CED-90-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake E237961.3 where appropriate. Official comments from the U.S. Department of Transportation were not obtained. We conducted our work from October 1989 to May 1990 at the Cali- fornia Department of Transportation and FHWA in Sacramento, Cali- fornia, and Washington, D.C.; interviewed agency officials; and reviewed official files, policies, and federal-aid highway program information. We also reviewed reports and studies on the Loma Prieta Earthquake and the resulting damage. We performed our work in accordance with gener- ally accepted government auditing standards. Details of our objectives, scope, and methodology are contained in appendix V. As agreed with your offices, unless you publicly announce its contents earlier, we will make no further distribution of the report until 30 days from the date of this letter. At that time, we will send copies to other interested congressional committees, the Department of Transportation, and the state of California. We will also make copies available to inter- ested parties upon request. If you or your staff have any questions on this report, please contact me on (415) 556-6200 or Kenneth M. Mead, Director of Transportation Issues, on (202) 275-1000. Other major con- tributors to this report are listed in appendix VI. Thomas P. McCormick Regional Manager Page 12 GAO/RCElHM77 Loma Prieta Earthquake ,’i .; i _1-,,_ i : Page 13 GAO/BCED&%l1? LomaPlietaFhrthquake . Contents Letter Appendix I 16 Pictures and Illustrations of Cypress Viaduct and Bay Bridge Damage Appendix II California’s Seismic Retrofit Program Appendix III 23 Earthquake Force Measurements Appendix IV 24 Comments From the GAO Comments 32 California Department of Transportation Appendix V Objectives, Scope, and Methodology Appendix VI 36 Major Contributors to This Report Figures Figure 1.1: Cypress Viaduct Prior to Loma Prieta 16 Earthquake of October 17,1989 Figure 1.2: Illustration Depicting Reinforcement in 17 Cypress Viaduct Columns Page 14 GAO/ICED-90-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake Content.9 Figure 1.3: Illustration Depicting Typical Cypress Viaduct 18 Support Column Failure Figure 1.4: Cypress Viaduct After October 17, 1989, 19 Collapse Figure 1.5: Cypress Viaduct’s Upper Deck Road Surface 20 After October 17, 1989, Collapse Figure 1.6: Collapsed Section of the San Francisco/ 21 Oakland Bay Bridge Abbreviations cal~ran~ California Department of Transportation FHSVA Federal Highway Administration RCED Resources, Community, and Economic Development Division Page 16 GAO/WED-90-177 Lana Prieta Earthquake pictures and Illustrations of Cypress Viaduct axd Bay Bridge Damage Figure 1.1: Cypress Viaduct Prior to Loma Prieta Earthquake of October 17,1999 Source Cahfornla Department of Transportation Page 16 GAO/RCED-96-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake Pictnres and Dlustrations of Cypress viaduct and Bay Bridge Damage Figure 1.2: Illustration Depicting Upper Deck Reinforcement in Cypress Viaduct Columns 1 b \\ 3 \ il Critical Crack Source: California Department of Transportation. Page 17 GAO/IWED~l77 Loma Prleta Jkthqnake r Appendix I Pictures and Dlnstmtiom of Cypress Viaduct and Bay Bridge Damage Figure 1.3: Illustration Depicting Typical Cypress Viaduct Support Column Failure 2. Upper deck tI Upper Deck drops down. I 1. Column drops down and out w-D------ \ *1 Lower Deck 1 I I I Source: California Department of Transportation. Page 18 GAO/BCED-9blT7 Loma Prieta Earthquake Appendix I Pictures and lllustratioua of Cypress Viaduct and Bay Bridge Damage Source: Callfornla Department of Transportation Page 20 GAO/RCED~177 Lmua Prieta Earthquake ~- -..- -.-- q, -,.- _ .--_---.---- --- - - . , Appendix I Pictures and Illustrations of Cypress Viiuct and Bay Bridge Damage Figure 1.4: Cypress Viaduct After October 17,1989, Collapse I” ” ,,,I * 1 I ’ Source: Cahfornla Department of Transportation Page 19 GAO/RCED-W177 Loma Prieta Earthquake Appendix I Pictures and Illustrations of Cypress Viaduct and Bay Bridge Damage Figure 1.8: Collapsed Section of the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge Source California Department of Transportation Page 21 GAO/WED-90-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake , Appendix II California’s SeismicRetrofit Program c The need for seismic retrofitting became apparent when the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake severely damaged five bridges in Southern Cali- fornia. As a result, California began what evolved into a three-phase seismic retrofit program to strengthen structures located in areas of fre- quent seismic activity to prevent similar damage from future earth- quakes Three types of weaknesses were identified for correction: . Deck sections that were not adequately tied together at the hinges had a tendency to separate and collapse. . Single columns that supported some structures were likely to suffer damage and possible collapse because of insufficient reinforcement, which allowed concrete in the columns to crumble. l Multicolumn structures, including double-deck structures such as the Cypress Viaduct (see fig. I. 1), were also considered vulnerable due to insufficient reinforcement. But because of the additional stability pro- vided by multiple support columns, they were not considered as vulner- able as single-column structures. Before the Loma Prieta Earthquake, no multicolumn bridge had collapsed during an earthquake. Correcting deck weaknesses became the first phase because the Cali- fornia Department of Transportation (cal~ran~)believed these weak- nesses were both more serious and less expensive to correct. cal~ran~ planned to reinforce the hinges between deck sections by tying them together with cables or other reinforcers. This work was completed on the Cypress Viaduct in 1977 and on a total of 1,261 structures by 1989. Next, cal~ran~planned to strengthen single-column structures by encasing the concrete columns in steel jackets. Although column damage was originally observed in the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake, the October 1987 Whittier Earthquake caused further bridge damage, rein- forcing the need to strengthen columns on bridges built before 1971. The California Transportation Commission approved csrrans request to spend $64 million on these projects in December 1987. Research began in 1987, and the first contract was awarded in March 1990. cal~ran~plans to have this phase completed by December 1991. Finally, cal~ran~planned to retrofit multicolumn structures-the third phase. This phase, which included the Cypress Viaduct, had not been scheduled at the time of the earthquake. The technology needed to retrofit multicolumn structures is being researched and is not yet fully developed. cal~ran~plans to have the third phase completed by December 1993. Page 22 GAO/RCED-90-177 Loma Prieta Ehthquake . . Appendix III Earthquake Force Measurements Earthquake effects can generally be categorized by two measurements. The Richter scale measures the energy release of an earthquake at its epicenter, while ground acceleration measures the gravity, or “g” force, of the ground-shaking motions. The g force can vary considerably according to the type of ground material involved and is more mean- ingful than Richter scale measurements to engineers designing bridges or buildings. The Loma Prieta Earthquake measured 7.1 on the Richter scale at its epicenter, near Loma Prieta peak in the Santa Cruz Moun- tains, where the ground acceleration ranged from 0.47 g to 0.64 g. No measurement devices were placed on the Bay Bridge or the Cypress Via- duct, about 60 miles from the epicenter. Devices near the Cypress Via- duct measured the ground acceleration at between 0.26 g and 0.29 g. This is in contrast to measurements of 0.11 g and 0.13 g in San Jose, located between the epicenter and the Cypress Viaduct, and 0.06 g at Yerba Buena Island, which anchors the middle of the San Francisco/ Oakland Bay Bridge. Geologists attribute the variations in ground acceleration to differences in soil composition; soft soils experience stronger ground shaking than hard soils. The collapsed sections of the Cypress Viaduct and the Bay Bridge were built on relatively soft soils, while Yerba Buena Island is on bedrock. The effects of earthquakes on soft soils were not fully realized by Caltrans until 1985, when the Mexico City Earthquake caused severe ground shaking and liquefaction, the loss of ground strength when loosely compacted, water-saturated sediments liquefy, in parts of the city built on landfill. Page 23 GAO/RCED-3&177 Loma Prieta Ihrthqnake . / Appendix IV Comments From the California Depaxbnent * of Transportation Note: GAO comments supplementing those In the report text appear at the ATE OF CALIFORNIA-BUSINESS. TRANSPORTAnON AND HOWNG AGENCY GEORGE DEUKMEJLAN. Garamor end of this appendix IEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION WCE OF THE DIRECTOR I20 N STREET 0 BOX PA2873 KRAMENTO CAUFORMA 94273 0001 May 16, 1990 Thomas P. McCormick Regional Audit Manager General Accounting Office Suite 900, State Fund Building 1275 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94103 GAO Report on the Loma Prieta Earthquake After the Loma Prieta earthquake on October 17, 1989, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) welcomed the General Accounting Office auditors in the hope that they would make recommendations to Congress on the appropriate way to address seismic safety concerns as they relate to the transportation system. We believe the report should offer recommendations to help Congress resolve the major policy decisions regarding a nationwide seismic safety program for transportation. Unfortunately, the report suggests by implication that the Caltrans program, although See comment 1 acknowledged to be the leader in the country, is lacking in scope, timing, funding, priorities and commitment. Additionally, other than to note the most obvious of facts that the advanced California program did not prevent the severe damage experienced in the Loma Prieta earthquake, the report provides absolutely no guidance for California, for other states or for the nation as a whole on the development of an appropriate seismic retrofit program. No existing standards for such a program are identified, no comparisons are drawn and no suggestions are made for the development of needed programs. Contrary to comments repeatedly made in the report, California is committed to complete a most aggressive, expedited seismic retrofit See comment 2 program. It will be completed within a few years at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. The a outstanding question is the commitment of the federal government. Will it persist in its current policy of hiding from the problem and requiring the normal federal aid programs to be diverted to the seismic safety effort? If it does, California's See comment 3 no--ma1 federal-aid program will suffer very seriously, but California's seismic retrofit program will be completed. Page24 GAO/RCED-90.177LomaPrietaEarthqualce AppendixIV Comments From the California Department of Transportation Mr. McCormick May 16, 1990 Page 2 What does the federal policy of ignoring the issue mean to other states? Should they likewise continue to ignore the issue? Should they shut down their normal federal-aid programs to pursue aggressive seismic retrofit efforts like California's? Should they take something from the federal-aid programs to start a well- planned long range retrofit program at a level that does not interfere with the basic priorities (i.e. traffic safety) of the federal-aid program? The report provides no guidance on the most important, fundamental questions. In fact, it does a disservice by refusing to recognize how complex and difficult these public policy choices are, and by criticizing by implication the nation's most advanced seismic See comment 4 retrofit program because it tried to make those choices and tried to balance, within constrained funding seismic retrofit work with other safety and performance objectives of the federal-aid programs. California has been a national and international leader in the structural and seismic research area for many years. Seismic design criteria used by the other 49 states have come from Caltransl advanced seismic research and design programs. The GAO report does not explain the background and reasoning for decisions made during the past 20 years regarding the seismic strengthening of bridges in California. We believe this document should provide a framework by which the Congress of the United States can develop guidelines to help the states adequately deal with the seismic safety problem across the country. I would suggest the following points must be considered so that the Congressional Oversight Committees can make informed decisions in developing directions to improve the seismic safety of our nation's transportation system. * Over the years, California - and to the best of our knowledge every other state has followed the principle that we could expect and accept earthquake damage on highway structures but not accept collapse that could result in serious injury or death. This policy was based on the national and international research, state-of-the-art technology and the knowledge gained by Caltrans engineers from actual experiences in earthquakes in California and around the world. * Prior to 1971, the department had developed a standardized design based on the available knowledge of the time. Structural engineering is a dynamic discipline, constantly evolving and changing. Advances in technology and knowledge are continually incorporated into designs. This applies to both buildings and highway structures. A building or highway Page 25 GAO/RCED-90-177LomaPrieta Earthquake AppendixN CommentsFromtheCaliforniaDepartment ofTransportation Mr. McCormick May 16, 1990 Page 3 bridge designed in 1990 contains seismic design standards and features that are not found in structures 20, 30 or 50 years old. * The 1971 San Fernando earthquake was a watershed event which Caltrans engineers used to expand their knowledge base and to make improvements to structures with the goal of preventing collapse. In this earthquake, columns experienced unanticipated damage and five bridges collapsed when the decks were pulled off their supports. From that quake, new design criteria were developed to strengthen columns and special priority was given to a retrofit program to prevent collapse by securing bridge decks to their support columns through the use of hinge restrainers. * Factual evidence from subsequent earthquakes, including the 1987 Whittier Narrows event, confirmed that hinge restrainers should be the top priority in a retrofit program. * After the 1987 Whittier Narrows quake, the department accelerated its research program into the strengthening of columns, with an emphasis on single column structures, as a way to minimize damage so repairs could be made without closing vital thoroughfares to traffic. This approach was confirmed by the 1988 earthquake in Armenia where thousands died when emergency vehicles were unable to reach victims because the road system was unusable. * California's seismic program has been a major undertaking. It involved extensive new research, review and screening of thousands of structures and thousands of hours of work by Caltrans staff and consultants. * Multi-column structures have as a class performed very well in quakes prior to Loma Prieta, including San Fernando and Whittier. There had been some damage, but no collapse. * Loma Prieta produced a number of expected and unexpected occurrences. Hinge restrainers were effective and the new column design criteria incorporated into structures designed after 1971 performed as intended. As expected, repairable damage occurred to some structures. Collapse of the Cypress Viaduct and the section of the Bay Bridge was not expected. * The Cypress Viaduct was designed and constructed to a strength exceeding the standards of the day. The structure was built to those standards and was meticulously and properly maintained over the 32 years since its opening in 1957. The same is true for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which was opened to traffic in 1936. Page26 GAO/RCED-90-177LomaPrietaEarthquake Appendix N Comments From the California Department of Transportation Mr. McCormick May 16, 1990 Page 4 * Caltrans engineers were unaware of the potential for collapse at Cypress. There was no indication that the Cypress Viaduct was uniquely vulnerable. Of course with the benefit of hindsight, we have been able to identify a design detail that contributed in combination with other factors to this catastrophe. But before the October 17 earthquake, there was absolutely no evidence that would have prompted the department to conduct an exceptional detailed study of the structure. * As a result of the Loma Prieta Earthquake, Caltrans has taken the following steps: 1. Examine all bridges in California for their potential for vulnerability in an earthquake. 2. Embark on an accelerated seismic retrofit program for all bridges. 3. Develop a response spectra for soft soils. We believe that the installation of hinge restrainers kept many bridges from collapsing during earthquakes in California since 1971 including Whittier and Loma Prieta, saving hundreds of lives. Not only did the hinge restrainers keep the structures from collapsing on vehicles, but they also helped keep these structures intact and sehriceable, allowing emergency vehicles to get aid to damaged areas of the community. Were the Cypress and Bay Bridge strong enough to withstand the See comment 5 forces experienced during this earthquake? Obviously not. To suggest that there was a "design flaw" or that Caltrans ignored the problem is not backed up by the facts. The GAO report has three major areas that need clarification: 1. SCOPE OF THE RETROFIT PROGRAM Following the 1971 earthquake, the department embarked on a seismic retrofit program focused on efforts to prevent collapse of structures. The problem at San Fernando was corrected through the use of hinge restrainers. Further, it was identified that additional column strengthening would help reduce damage and not require closure of vital thoroughfares while repairs were made. Only after the See comment 6 Whittier earthquake did we make any distinction between single and multi-column bridges. That distinction was driven by the state of seismic research which offered some possible approaches that could be tested and used to retrofit single column bridges. Even then, there was no technology available for retrofitting multi-column bridges. 2. WLNERABILITY OF THE CYPRESS STRUCTURE There was NO evidence or indication prior to October 17, 1989 See comment 7 that Cypress was uniquely vulnerable to collapse. Page 27 GAO/RCED-90-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake AppendixN CommentsFromtheCalifotiaDepartment ofTra.usportation Mr. McCormick May 16, 1990 Page 5 Consequently, there was no reason to undertake a study in which Caltrans engineers might have noticed the structure's unique design detail or that the amount of reinforcing steel in the columns was less than current requirements. In fact, hinge restrainers had been installed at Cypress to correct the problem that had been well documented at San Fernando and subsequent earthquakes. 3. ALLOCATION OF FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY ASSISTANCE The question of how best to use the resources to address the wide range of problems on our transportation system presents a most complex issue of public choice. How much is enough for seismic research and retrofit when (a) You are already addressing the vulnerability of bridges slipping off their See comment 8 supports that had been identified at San Fernando, (b) You have already updated your design criteria and (c) There is no indication of the possibility that any structure was vulnerable to collapse due to column failure. In California, the retrofit work to prevent collapse (for user safety) had been completed. The choice facing California, based on what was known prior to the Loma Prieta earthquake, was a choice between investment to provide new services and increased operational safety or investments to protect the services relying on older facilities. The Loma Prieta Earthquake was a tragedy, but it would be an even greater disaster if we fail to learn from this experience, expand our knowledge and make improvements to the nation's transportation system. To reach that goal, the California Department of Transportation believes the Congress needs to provide guidance on funding priorities and the scope of the program needed on a nationwide basis to strengthen the transportation system in the event of a major earthquake. Earthquakes are more than just a California phenomenon. They are a national problem. I have attached some additional comments to the GAO report which I believe will help the Congress deal with this very important issue. Page28 GAO/RCED-90-177LomaPrietaEarthquake AppendixN CommentsFromtheCaliforniaDepartment ofTransportation GAO REPORT ON THE MMA PRIETA EARTHQUAKE The following specific comments regarding the text of the report are provided in addition to the points presented in the cover letter. Pages 1 and 2 regarding "RESULTS IN BRIEF" For all the reasons discussed in our cover letter we feel your summary does not fairly present the State's program. Page 4, the first full paragraph is incorrect and should be rewritten as follows: In California, Caltrans prepares a multi-year estimate of state and federal funds projected to be available for its capital program, and forwards it to the California Transportation Commission, a board appointed by the Governor, for review and approval. The Commission reviews and approves the fund estimate. Based on the final fund estimate, Caltrans and the several regional transportation planning agencies See comment 9 nominate projects for inclusion in a State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), which lists specific projects, and submits it to the Commission for approval. Starting in 1990, Caltrans also prepares and submits a separate Highway System Operation and Protection Plan (HSOPP), which includes safety, rehabilitation, and operational projects on the state highway system. An annual budget proposal is also prepared by Caltrans, and submitted through the Governor to the legislature, which appropriates funds for the capital programs set forth in the STIP and HSOPP. However, funds are not allocated to individual projects by the Commission until they are ready to be advertised for bid. Page 4, middle paragraph which begins with "Earthquake effects...": Recommend consistent terminology for reference to "gl' force. For example, in fifth and sixth lines from end of paragraph, reference is made (first) to "....between .26 and -29 percent See comment 10 of gravity . ..'I and (second) to II.... measurements of .ll and .13 in San Jose . . ..'I We believe the convention would be -26 gf .29 g, .ll g, and .13 g respectively. Pages 5 and 6, beginning with "Correcting deck weaknesses . ..'I. A major factor in the decision to give the "hinge restrainer" phase highest priority was that there was no available technology for either single - or multiple-column retrofit strengthening. When the "Phase II" program was presented to See comment 11 CTC in 1987, it was specifically made clear to the Commission that the technology did not exist even then. -l- Page29 GAO/RCED-90-177LomaPrietaEarthquake , 44 . Appendix N CommentsFromtheCaliforniaDapartment ofTransportation The statement that "... no work had been done as of April 6, 1990, on the 392 single-column structures..." is wrong. Clearly, as the balance of the paragraph indicates, both research and design work had in fact been done on such structures, granted that no actual construction contract was yet underway. In addition, the Department has never withheld from allocation or advertising u retrofit project on which design was complete. The statement that I*... some (single- column retrofit) project designs had been completed by June, 1988, but other projects were given priority in funding" is wrong. The statement on pp lo-11 that "...some project See comment 12. designs were completed by June 1988, but the districts did not complete the site work needed to forward the projects for funding approval.... (I helps to clarify what the auditors were told, but is still incorrect. In these cases, the nstructuresn element of some project designs may have been considered complete, but the final Plans, Specifications, and Estimates needed to advertise the projects were not complete with respect to items such as utility relocations, right of way acquisition, permits, etc., and the projects could neither be presented to the CTC for funding, nor advertised for construction. Page 8, "Funding has been available in the past . . ..I'. The statement "although California began its seismic retrofit program in 1971, it did not begin earmarking funds for this purpose until 1987" is incorrect on two counts. First, California does not normally t@earmarklVsny funds. In 1987 the CTC simply accepted the Department's recommendation to establish a lump-sum reservation as a matter of convenience, because the specific individual projects needed to implement the program had still not been identified (in part, at least, See comment 13. because the appropriate retrofit technology hadn't yet been identified). Second, nmajortl seismic retrofit projects were in fact included in STIP's prior to 1987, either as part of reservations or as line items projects ("minor" projects, with a few exceptions, have never been included in the STIP in any program area). Through the 1986/87 FY, 1260 bridges were retrofitted with hinge restrainers at a cost of about $54 million. Page 9, "California has not earmarked funds..." Again, this paragraph is incorrect, for the reasons given above regarding the similar reference on page 8. Furthermore, the sentence "Funding for each project was taken from See comment 14. Caltrans' State Transportation Improvement Program: funds for the seismic retrofit program were not specified within the budget" implies that funds for other kinds of projects m specified in the budget. In fact, with very few exceptions, the budget nev~l specifies funding for individual projects or even project types, and until 1990 funding for every project, not just seismic retrofit projects, was "taken from" the STIP. -2- Page 30 GAO/ICED-!40-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake . Appendix IV Chnmenta kom the California Department of Transportation (Now, because of recent changes in statute, funds are "taken from" the STIP, the HSOPP, the TSM Plan, etc.) Page 10, second para under "Competing priorities . ..I*. The statement that II... the districts received no additional resources specifically for retrofitting work" is incorrect. The resources assigned to the districts were based on the project workload from the STIP, which included the seismic retrofit program. In fact, where the capital program is concerned, the districts have not in recent years received support resources snecificallv for any project type. The statement that (I... safety and rehabilitation projects have been assigned priority based on the number of lives lost in previous incidents!" and the attribution to Valtrans officialstl are misleading. Accident histories are m basis See comment 15. for preliminarily identifying potential project locations in certain categories of lVsafety8* projects. Likewise the conclusion that "retrofit projects were accorded a relatively low priority because . . . earthquake damage to state bridges had resulted in the loss of only two lives...tt is misleading in its suggestion of a single, direct cause-and-effect relationship. We believe it would be more accurate to say the Department considered there was no appreciable risk of loss of life due to catastrophic failure of bridges in any maximum credible earthquake, particularly once the hinge restrainers had been installed. To the extent guardrails, median barriers, and other safety projects were accorded high priority, it was because of the certainty that such projects would reduce the future loss of life. Page 11, "Funding for all retrofitting work is uncertain": Third and Fourth lines of first paragraph, the CTC does m U1control Caltrans' overall budget." The audit report needs to reflect the distinction between the program, the budget, and fund allocations. While the CTC does, indeed determine which projects are included in the STIP (and, now, HSOPP, See comment 16. which is the relevant document where the retrofit program is concerned), the budaet is determined by the Legislature and Governor. The CTC does also allocate budgeted funds to specific projects, including retrofit projects, but within the controls and constraints contained in the budget. In fact, the CTC can only allocate funds appropriated by the Legislature, which considerably limits the options to determine *I... how it would make funds available to supplement the $60 million appropriated by the legislature for seismic retrofitting work." -3- Page 31 GAO/RCED-90-177 Loma Prieta Ebthquake * , Appendix IV Comments From the California Department of Transportation The following are GAO'S comments on cal~ran~’ letter dated May 16,199O. 1. We were asked to examine what cal~ran~knew about the condition of GAO Comments the two collapsed structures, what funds were available and have been spent on seismic retrofit work in California, and what funds will be needed to complete California’s seismic retrofit program. We were not asked to address safety concerns for the nation as a whole or to deter- mine the adequacy of seismic safety standards endorsed by the federal government. 2. In the past, cal~rans’commitment has not been sufficient to ensure completion of the seismic retrofit program. Although cd~rans has renewed its commitment, it will not be fulfilled unless funds are diverted from other projects or the legislature appropriates additional funds. 3. cal~ran~has received over $4 billion since 1975 for federal-aid highway programs that included seismic retrofit work as an eligible activity. The state chose to spend about $46 million-about 1 percent- of this on seismic retrofit projects, reflecting state-determined priorities. In addition, if the state had initiated column retrofit research and per- formed some of the column retrofit work during the last 18 years, the impact on any single year’s budget would have been considerably less than it will be between now and the end of 1993. 4. We recognize that California made choices between retrofit work and other safety programs. However, we found that when these choices were made, seismic retrofit work received relatively low priority. 6. We do not say nor do we suggest that cal~ransknew that the Cypress Viaduct contained a flaw or that they ignored it. However, we revised the report language to use the term “weakness” to describe the hidden defect which, when placed under stress, had the potential to cause col- lapse. We did not evaluate whether the Cypress Viaduct met the design standards and codes of its day but, as we point out, cal~ransengineers now believe this design detail was a major factor in the structure’s collapse. 6. Only one of the problems identified at San Fernando was corrected through the use of hinge restrainers. The potential for column damage and structural failure was identified, according to ca.mans, in 1971 and reemphasized in 1987. In contrast to cal~rans’ assertion that no distinc- tion was made between single-column and multicolumn bridges until after 1987, a 1978 cal~ran~publication describing the 1971 earthquake’s Page 32 GAO/RCED-90-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake Appendix Iv Comments Fkom the California Department of Transportation effects portrayed single-column bridges as being “particularly” vulner- able to damage. Further, C~~TKUIS officials considered multicolumn bridges as less vulnerable because of the additional stability provided by the additional columns. The technology to retrofit multicolumn bridges is not available. 7. We do not say that cal~ransengineers knew that the Cypress Viaduct was uniquely vulnerable to collapse or had any reason to specifically target it for review. cal~ran~engineers told us, however, that if the pro- gram had progressed to the third phase, engineers reviewing the struc- ture’s plans would have discovered the column weakness. 8. Retrofit work was not finished with the completion of phase one in 1989; cal~ransengineers had long recognized the need to retrofit bridge support columns and had in fact planned to deal with these deficiencies in phases two and three of the retrofit program. 9. This paragraph was deleted from the final report because it was not considered necessary to include a detailed discussion of California’s pro- cess for funding transportation projects in order to understand that the California Transportation Commission approved cal~ran~’ funding request for the seismic retrofit program. 10. It was decided that the discussion of the measurement of earthquake forces would best be presented as an appendix to the report. Therefore, this information is now incorporated as appendix III to the report. Per cal~ran~ suggestion, references to the percentage of gravity were changed to “g” force for consistency. 11. To say that the technology to retrofit either single- or multicolumn structures was not available in 1971, when the weaknesses were first identified, or in 1987, when the phase two funding program was presented to the California Transportation Commission, ignores the fact that cal~ranswas responsible for developing the needed technology. Although a 1978 cal~ranspublication stated that a contract would be awarded for column retrofit research in “the near future,” the contract was not awarded until 1987. 12. We did not find that the Department withheld from allocation or advertising any retrofit project on which design was complete. However, we were told by several cal~rans engineering officials that retrofit Page 33 GAO/RCXZIM@177 Loma Meta Edhcwke Appendix IV Commenta Prom the California Department of Transportation projects were not finalized, even though the structural designs were fin- ished, because funds were not available to perform the construction work. 13. This paragraph was deleted from the final report because it dupli- cated information provided later in the report on funds provided for the seismic retrofit program. 14. This paragraph was revised to delete the reference to the earmarking of funds for the seismic retrofit program and to eliminate the implication that other types of projects were specified in the budget. 15. Although C~~TIXIIS uses a formula, which includes lives lost as well as other elements, to determine how projects in the state transportation plan will be ranked, cal~rans officials told us that the determining factor was the lives lost element. 16. C~~TXUIS budget is in fact determined by the legislature and approved by the governor, but the responsibility for allocating budget funds among projects has been delegated to the California Transportation Commission. As a result, if the legislature does not decide to increase C~~TWIS’ budget to complete seismic retrofit work, the Commission will need to decide whether to reallocate funds already dedicated to other projects. Page 34 GAO/lEEIM@177 Loma Prieta JSuthquake Objectives,Scope,and Methodology On October 23,1989, the House Appropriations Committee, in House ’ Report 101-301, Further Continuing Appropriations, 1990, requested that we provide information on the collapse of the Cypress Viaduct sec- tion of Interstate 880 and the San Francisco/Oakland Ray Bridge during the October 17,1989, Loma Prieta Earthquake. In accordance with sub- sequent agreements with the Committee, our objectives were to deter- mine (1) what the California Department of Transportation (cal~rans) knew about the structures’ vulnerability to earthquake forces before they collapsed, (2) what federal and state funding was available and expended in California to strengthen bridges subject to earthquake forces, and (3) what funding is needed to complete California’s seismic retrofit program. To accomplish our objectives, we interviewed officials from cal~rans;the Federal Highway Administration in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento; and the California legislature, as well as various experts within the seismic engineering community. We attended all sessions of the Gov- ernor’s Panel on the Loma Prieta Earthquake, at which a broad spec- trum of engineers, seismologists, geologists, and budget experts presented information on the Bay Bridge and Cypress collapse, the retrofit program, and the California and federal budget processes. We reviewed maintenance files for the two failed structures, state and fed- eral budget documents, program priority policies and plans, and federal- aid highway program information. We did not independently evaluate the design or construction plans to determine the structural adequacy of the Cypress Viaduct or the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge or the technical reasons for the struc- tures’ collapse. Rather, we relied on cal~ran~’ information and opinions, views of experts presenting information to the Governor’s panel, and various reports and studies published after the earthquake. Page 35 GAO/IEEMO-177 Loma Prieta Earthquake Appendix VI Major Contributors to This Report John W. Hill, Associate Director, Transportation Issues Resources, Jacquelyn L. Williams-Bridgers, Assistant Director Community, and Benjamin E. Worrell, Assignment Manager Steven L. Cohen, Senior Evaluator Economic Development Division, Washington, D.C. Karen S. Zuckerstein, Assistant Regional Manager San Francisco’ Larry J. Calhoun, Issue Area Manager Regional V Office Mary C. Bufkin-Smith, Evaluator-in-Charge Judy K. Hoovler, Evaluator Belinda F. Jones, Evaluator Jonathan M. Silverman, Writer/Editor (342807) Page 36 GAO/IWEB~l77 Lmna Prieta Jhrthquake
Loma Prieta Earthquake: Collapse of the Bay Bridge and the Cypress Viaduct
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-06-19.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)