Aboard the steadfast Zhen Hua 17, four behemoth hunks of our new Bay Bridge arrived 6 days early from China last week, greeted with thunder and lightning at Oakland’s Pier 7. This baby’s gonna cost lit-er-ally double than the initial plans projected. Makes us wonder what could have been done if we just, you know, rearranged some hunks of the old Bay Bridge instead of building a whole new east wing.

Students enrolled in a recent grad course within Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design were asked to play out this very pipe dream. Ideas included a “Park above the Bay” (rock-climbing wall, swing sets, the whole nine yards), a functioning mid-Bay farm, a bird habitat, and several schemes for cutting edge, enviro-savvy hotels.

If only our grad students had ninja-ed their way to China and swapped the engineering plans with their own more innovative and utopian dreamscapes. Maybe the aesthetic integrity of the designs would have almost compensated for the new six dollar toll fee to get across the bridge.

Lest we leave you on a downer, there have been rumbles about a possible bike path on the Bay Bridge’s western expanse, stretching from Yerba Buena to the city. As of now, a 15-foot wide bike/pedestrian path has been paved on the new east wing.

Image Source: F.d.W. under Creative Commons
Design fantasies for obsolete Bay Bridge span [SF Gate]

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