Video Shows How Old San Francisco Bay Bridge Lives On After Demolition

As the east span of the decades-old San Francisco Bay Bridge is being steadily demolished, a video by Caltrans explores how the millions of pounds of steel from the colossal bridge is taking on new life through art and recycling.

The three-minute clip illustrates how steel from the bridge is being reused for the Bay Bridge Steel Arts Program, administered by the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA). The program was created in response to significant public interest from Bay Area artists and creative communities to make steel from the bridge available for repurposing and reuse. The program’s purpose is to preserve elements of the original 1936 Bay Bridge east span, as well as its legacy as a major landmark and historic icon.

Caltrans is working closely with local contractors, California Engineering Contractors, Inc./Silverado Contractors, Inc., a joint venture, and the Oakland Museum of California to ensure every piece of steel from the bridge is recycled or used for the purposes of various types of art projects throughout the state of California.

“These partnerships are functions of our continued overall commitment to environmental stewardship,” explained Brian Maroney, chief bridge engineer.

The second of five, 504-ft-long steel trusses stretching from Pier E4 to Pier E9, the equivalent of approximately one half of a mile, was successfully removed earlier this month. The first was brought down in February. Each of these trusses weighs approximately 2,400 tons.

The video, titled “What Happens to Bay Bridge Steel?” can be viewed on YouTube at A one-minute time lapse of the truss lowering is also available at