BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 110
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 14, 2013

                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                  SB 110 (DeSaulnier) - As Amended:  August 8, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                             JudiciaryVote:10-0
                       Transportation                         13-0

          Urgency:     Yes                  State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               


          This bill establishes, until July 1, 2014, a task force to  
          review the seismic safety of the East Span of the San  
          Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and report its findings to the  
          Legislature. Specifically, this bill:

          1)Establishes a task force consisting of seven members, as  
            designated by the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO), to serve  
            a one-year term to:

             a)   Review the seismic design criteria of the east span and  
               evaluate the appropriateness of the approach,  
               methodologies, and modeling assumptions used by Caltrans as  
               they pertain to the bridge's ability to withstand an  
               earthquake of an appropriate hazard level.  

             b)   Review construction techniques, testing documents, and  
               other pertinent information regarding construction of the  
               bridge and address specific questions that have been raised  
               about construction quality due to possible problems with  
               Caltrans' oversight of the construction contractor and  

             c)   Review and evaluate Caltrans' analyses to assess the  
               impact of construction defects.

             d)   Evaluate Caltrans' risk analysis of the bridge to  
               determine if the department appropriately assessed the  
               bridge's ability to withstand a large earthquake.

          2)Appropriates $149,000 from the State Transportation Account  


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            (SHA) to provide compensation to the task force chair  
            ($20,000) and the other members ($16,000 each) and to  
            reimburse task force members for related expenses, and  
            requires the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) to reimburse this  
            amount to the SHA.

          3)Stipulates that the task force is subject to the Bagley-Keene  
            Open Meeting Act and that task force records are subject to  
            disclosure under the state Public Records Act.

          4)Requires Caltrans to provide relevant information to, and run  
            models for, the task force, as requested.

          5)States that the task force members are deemed to be officers  
            of the state and thus are immune from liability related to  
            their work.

          6)Requires Caltrans to defend the task force against any claim  
            or action related to their work and to pay any judgment  
            resulting from such a claim or action.

          7)Requires BATA to reimburse Caltrans for any costs and  
            judgments resulting from (6). 

          8)State legislative intent that the task force work not delay  
            the bridge opening.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)One-time appropriation of $149,000 for task force  
            compensation, and potential significant costs to the extent  
            the results of the task force's work leads to any litigation  
            and judgment.  Per the bill's provisions, all costs will be  
            borne by the State Highway Account and fully reimbursed by  
            BATA through toll revenues

          2)Minor absorbable one-time costs (up to $100,000) for Caltrans  
            to provide information, including running models, for the task  


           Purpose  . According to the author, the genesis of this bill was  
          recent media reports raising questions about the structural  
          soundness of the new East span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay  


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          Bridge. Questions were first raised last year regarding the  
          soundness of the bridge's main tower foundation. More recently,  
          media attention has focused on steel bolts that broke when  

          In early July, the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee,  
          which consists of the heads of Caltrans, BATA, and the  
          California Transportation Commission, determined that bridge  
          opening would be delayed from Labor Day weekend until after  
          completion of retrofit work on the bridge's east pier, which is  
          not expected before early December.

          The task force specified in this bill has already been convened  
          by the LAO. Task force members; however, did not wish to proceed  
          absent being provided immunity, hence SB 110, which contains an  
          urgency clause so the task force can commence its work at the  
          earliest possible time.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916) 319-2081