Photo courtesy Bill Abbott
Photo courtesy Bill Abbott

Third Street is a north-south roadway that connects the Financial, South of Market, Mission Bay, Dogpatch, and Bayview districts along the highly traveled eastern edge of the city and county of San Francisco. Third Street Bridge connects the city's China Basin and Mission Bay neighborhoods by carrying traffic over Mission Creek Channel. The movable, single-leaf, heel trunnion type bascule bridge opened on May 12, 1933. Its patented design was developed by Joseph Strauss of the Strauss Bascule Bridge Co., who also designed San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

The drawbridge carries five lanes of traffic: two northbound and two southbound with a reversible center lane. A designated historical landmark, the structure was renamed in 1969 in honor of famous baseball player Lefty O'Doul.

In 1998, San Francisco Public Works (SFPW) retained TRC Companies Inc. to help with a major reconstruction. The city's once again selected the engineering, environmental consulting and construction-management firm to provide design, environmental documentation and construction support services for a rehabilitation. Under the direction of SFPW, TRC will lead a team of engineers in assessing the structure's condition. The team will then prepare rehabilitation plans, which will allow the city to put the project out to bid.

TRC will also support the city during construction. The project will include repairing and replacing damaged steel members, welds, the concrete counterweight, support piles, bridge fenders, and portions of the deck, as well as spot removal of rust and associated priming and recoating. TRC will help plan and coordinate the work of underwater divers and barge and raft crews installing temporary barriers and containment curtains.

“The bridge is a historic treasure and a key access point in downtown San Francisco,” said John Cowdery, TRC’s senior vice president and environmental sector director. “TRC is excited about performing this important work and helping ensure this iconic span continues to operate smoothly for generations to come.”