Caltrans installs protection 'grease cap' for rods

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Updated: 4/30/2014 4:37 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California transportation officials have found a relatively inexpensive treatment meant to prevent hundreds of bolts and rods on the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge from cracking.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the new fix is a so-called "grease cap" that was installed on 192 rods used to fasten seismic safety equipment.

The $189,000 fix comes after 32 of the rods snapped last year after being tightened.

Crews have placed cans filled with a special grease over the nuts on the heads of the rods, which acts as a shield against hydrogen damage, which leads to cracking.

The California Department of Transportation is studying more than 2,000 other at-risk components to see if the grease caps will work as protection.

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