The Original. The Pioneer. In 1927, The Carquinez, one of the longest bridges in the world at the time, was built across the Carquinez Straits of the San Pablo Bay. It was the first bridge to connect any portion of the San Francisco Bay Area. Carquinez incorporated Earthquake safety innovations half century before their time.
Now, traffic growth has spelled the end for the three lane bridge. A demolition team must lower and recycle 25,000 tons of steel, concrete, and rebar. But they can’t just blow it up, as most bridges are demolished. Heavily trafficked bridges sit on each side of the span, and below is a national wildlife refuge. The engineers and contractors elect to remove the bridge in essentially the exact reverse order of its construction. That means turning a massive section of the bridge into a seaworthy vessel to be sailed into the bay to be recycled.
But before the ship can sail (with a tug pilot standing nearly 100 feet on top of the bridge/ship) to its final resting place, our team will have to avoid one after another possibility of catastrophic failure. A failure that’s happened before…
We follow the final days of Carquinez, immersed with a dedicated crew as they race the clock to bring down a piece of American engineering history.