Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thursday Must Read: Broken Bolts May Delay Bay Bridge Opening; Brown’s Giant Tunnels Spur More Controversy

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Mar 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Caltrans officials are at loss to explain why more than two-dozen giant steel bolts have snapped on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge, and acknowledged yesterday that the problem could delay the opening of the bridge, which is currently slated for Labor Day, the SacBee$ and other media outlets report. Overall, officials are concerned about 288 of the 24-foot-long bolts, which are designed to help the new $6.3 billion span withstand a major earthquake.

The Delta.
  • The Delta.
2. Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to construct two massive water tunnels around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is generating more controversy as environmentalists question the administration’s assertions that the project will help endangered fish, the CoCo Times reports. Environmentalists note that the $23 billion project depends heavily on habitat restoration proposals that have a poor track record.

3. Key backers of the state’s high-speed rail project are pulling their support for the $68 billion proposal in part because they say the trains will run too slow, the LA Times$ reports. Ex-proponents contend that numerous compromises made by rail authorities will slow down the trains and render them no longer competitive with air travel.

4. A federal judge overseeing California’s prison mental health system angrily accused state officials of unethical behavior after they had questioned mentally ill inmates without their attorneys knowledge in violation of the law, the SacBee$ reports. State officials then used these interviews to bolster their case for why the state should regain control of the prison mental health system.

5. And a majority of the US Supreme Court seemed prepared to strike down the nation’s anti-gay marriage law, known as the Defense of Marriage Act, the LA Times$ reports. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the swing vote on the deeply divided court, appeared to be ready to side with the liberal justices during the two-hour hearing.

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