Steel from the Old Bay Bridge Getting a New Life in Art

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Taking apart the eastern span of the Bay Bridge (Photo: Sam Burbank/OMCA)

What would you do with a few tons of steel left over from the demolition of the eastern span of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge?

Well 15 artists and design teams will get a chance to build, among other things, playful structures on Treasure Island, artwork just north of the Ferry Building, a sundial at Laney College, a sculpture near the Petaluma River and the platform for a miniature railroad in Truckee.

The Oakland Museum of California Tuesday announced the final five winners of sections of steel, rivets and an old Bay Bridge warning light, all to be used in public projects around California. The Bay Area Toll Authority had put the museum in charge of sifting through applications from dozens of artists who wanted to work with material from the iconic cantilever section of the bridge. OMCA had picked some of the winners in earlier announcements.

The eastern span of the old Bay Bridge
The eastern span of the old Bay Bridge (Bryan Goebel/KQED)

A statement from OMCA says the toll authority will begin to distribute the steel in the spring of this year.

Among the newly chosen projects, one that seems timed to the inauguration of President-elect Trump; “Building Bridges, Not Walls," by the Living New Deal Project, highlighting the contributions of immigrant workers in building the bridge.