Statement in response to the Sacramento Bee article about the Skyway:
This issue does not affect the safety, strength or the lifespan of the Skyway. The Skyway was completed in 2008, and the Toll Bridge Program addressed the issue of corrosion before the project was completed. Corrosion of steel tendons inside the bridge was extremely limited and was addressed. It does not affect the structural and seismic stability of the Skyway. The Skyway is safe, and there is no evidence that it is not.
During construction of the Skyway, steps were taken to protect the steel tendons, which are used to reinforce the structure and add strength. These steps included the use of specialized protective powder on the tendons and covers to reduce rainwater intrusion until the grout could be added.
During routine inspection, some rainwater was found in some ducts, and a detailed review of ungrouted ducts was initiated. On a small percentage of tendons, rainwater caused some corrosion, but in no cases did the level of corrosion result in any loss of required tensile capacity of the strands. All the Skyway tendons are stressed, properly grouted, and performing as designed and will do so for the next 150 years.
As soon as this issue was discovered, Caltrans put together a team to evaluate the condition of the affected tendons, using new technology such as digital borescopes and impact-echo sonic testing to evaluate the condition of the tendons. In some cases tendons were removed and destructively tested.
Caltrans involved the Seismic Peer Review Panel and Federal Highway Administration's corrosion experts in its investigation. Strong engineering information showed that of the approximately 1.5 percent of tendons affected, only some wires experienced moderate corrosion. Physical destructive testing ultimately determined that strands exceeded the minimum required tensile strength. Investigators found the majority of strands sampled met or exceeded the material requirements.
Caltrans published multiple public reports on the issue-which arose and was resolved six years ago-and even held a public lecture series on the topic. More information, including reports and videos, are available below.