Unparalleled bridge, unprecedented cost

When completed, the new east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will be not only the most complex engineering feat in California history, but also the most expensive, with a cost never subjected to public scrutiny. Although today’s price tag stands at $6.3 billion, the figure accounts for only salaries and hard materials—things like concrete and steel and cranes. When all is said and done, the new Bay Bridge will wind up costing tax- and toll-payers more than $12 billion—a figure that leaves even the officials in charge “staggered.”


Building the bay’s signature span

When all the pieces are finally welded together and tethered by the main suspension cable, the Bay Bridge east span will be not just a new American icon, but also a truly global monument. From the enormous solid steel castings of cable saddles, brackets and bands being forged in Japan and England to the gigantic bearings and hinges being manufactured in South Korea and Pennsylvania, fabrication of the bridge is under way in seven foreign countries and in more than two dozen American cities, including 12 in California.

Supes on: the budget — Mar advocates ‘a people’s budget’

Although San Francisco’s city budget was passed in July, District 1 Supervisor Eric Mar says he believes taking a more fundamental process to passing it is in order.

He advocates having “a people’s budget,” in which the process would solicit more grassroots involvement at “the early levels as opposed to where you have people rallying and begging at the last minute … when they can’t have as much of an impact on the budget.”


Gascon lists long-term goals, need for SFPD reform

Flanked by his command staff in the Hall of Justice hearing room, new San Francisco police Chief George Gascon addressed the media Tuesday morning on his long-term goals for the department: to take a hard-hitting stance against organized crime, to address the city’s diversity issues and to implement a plan to fix outdated policing facilities and strengthen the department’s current operational structure.

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival screening sparks soul searching within community

When the audience shuffled out of the Castro Theatre and the protesters headed home, the polarizing debate surrounding the July 25 screening of “Rachel” at the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival was not over.

Rather than argue about the appropriateness of the film at the festival, which ends Aug. 10, the Bay Area Jewish community is engaged in another soul-wrenching internal conversation.

Post-budget, supervisor wins medal, proving domestic mettle

Life in City Hall — excruciatingly bitter for months — just got a little bit sweeter.

Weeks of debate and political wrangling to pass the $6.7 billion budget, one that brought the worst deficit the city has seen since the Great Depression, left relationships between two of the supervisors strained.

To release some of the tension built up by the budget process, their respective offices agreed to settle things the gentlemanly way — with a bake-off.

New tenant OK’d for San Francisco Tea Garden

A new tenant for the Japanese Tea Garden concessions could move in as early as September – thanks to the support of the full board at Tuesday’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting.

Carol Murata, owner and operator of Murata’s Cafe Hana, was unanimously recommended July 22 by the parks commission to become the new occupant.

News Notes: Town hall scheduled tonight to discuss Richmond district bus, pedestrian improvements

Residents, merchants and those anxious over the transformation of one of San Francisco’s most traveled corridors will have a chance to voice their concerns at tonight’s discussion of the Geary Bus Rapid Transit system.

Co-hosted by Supervisor Eric Mar and the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, the meeting will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Richmond Recreation Center, 251 18th Ave. The forum also will address pedestrian and street improvements included in the project.