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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 10, 2000
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Tel.: 202-366-0660
FHWA 64-00

USDOT Announces Land Transfer Agreement For San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in California

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater today announced that the Department of Transportation will use authority available under federal law to transfer to California land needed for building a new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. A new span is needed to withstand earthquakes and provide a "lifeline" facility between Oakland and San Francisco in the event of a major earthquake.

"This is an important step forward for this vital project," Secretary Slater said. "Given the seismic vulnerability of the existing bridge, it is time to advance this project to protect the economy and safety of the entire San Francisco area."

The U.S. Navy owns land on Yerba Buena Island that will be needed for the proposed construction. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), an agency of USDOT, will notify the Navy this week that it is transferring the land from the Navy to the state of California based on a longstanding provision in federal law that permits federal land transfers for the Interstate Highway System. The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is on the Interstate system.

The land is needed under various design and location alternatives for the new span. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to complete a study later in October on the design selected by the California Department of Transportation for a northern alignment location of the new span. On September 22, 2000, in an "Interim Final Report," the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers concluded, " ... a replacement alternative is the path that most quickly resolves the exposure of the public to the seismic vulnerabilities of the existing structure."

"We are pleased that the we have been able to reach an agreement on this land transfer," FHWA Administrator Kenneth R. Wykle said. "The agreement will advance this project to improve safety, which is the highest transportation priority of the Clinton-Gore administration."

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