THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE DRIVE ACROSS IT EVERY DAY. TOURISTS COME FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD TO ADMIRE IT. THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE. IT’S A BAY AREA ICON. BUT WE DISCOVERED.. SOME IMPORTANT MAINTENANCE WORK HASN’T BEEN DONE IN DECADES. WHY NOT? KPIX 5’S JEFFREY SCHAUB GOT SOME ANSWERS.. STARTING ACROSS THE BAY. Nats This may look like just a simple work site Nats But it’s not Nats These are Caltrans bridge painters hunkered down on a platform suspended mid-air Nats Painting and repainting the underside of the Western Span of the Bay Bridge…a process that’s been on-going for over 9 decades Nats Conrad, why is it important that you do the level of work that you do in here? If we don’t paint the bridge, then the bridge rusts. And in this exact spot These painters have been here for two months. First they have to grind down the steel. Then they smooth it out. Then they apply two coats of primer, and then two coats of paint and they have to do all that because they might not be back here again for 20 years. Nats Just across the bay… GGB painters do the same work every day..only the most important part of the bridge..its main cable…hasn’t been painted in its entirety since the mid 1930s. Nats And it shows! This is a side-by side aerial view of both bridges. On the Golden Gate virtually the entire length of the cable housing…think of it as a very long tube…. shows wear and tear Nats Um, you know you raise a good point Jeffery. To find out why this iconic beauty is so badly in need of a make-over we sat down with Golden Gate Bridge General Manager Denis Mulligan So we have different time frames for different components of the bridge based on what is needed for those components. Mulligan says the cable casing may look bad but the 27,000 individual steel strands inside are pristine. but that could change if moisture seeps inside if the outer tube corrodes away. And the Bridge district has known about that threat for decades In 1969…..while Neil Armstrong walked the moon a consultant engineering firm walked the bridge…and issued this report recommending the main cable be painted asap. That never happened. This is an actual section of cable. Knowing that the entire cable had only been spot painted since the 1930’s, with great fanfare, five and a half years ago. The district annouced that the entire cable would be painted. But then suddenly stopped. Current engineers announced that the hand rails along the cable need to be replaced. This was a big deal….Yeah, my hunch is that the engineering evaluation had not been done at that time it was not known that the hand ropes were approaching the end of their useful service life. If I were to tell you that the cable on the GGB has not been painted in its entirety since 1937 would you be concerned about that? I’d be very concerned. If you didn’t paint the cabl does not get rusted….so the structural integrity of the bridge is not compromised And what about the Golden Gate’s south tower? The south tower apopeard of Directors has concerns about the cable and the south tower. Dietrich Stroegh is a nationally recognized civil engineer Now you asked me if I am concerne be treated for rust We found in exposing some of the sub structures that the bracing underneath which is like criss- crossed, behind the riveted piece on ther into the capital budget to get it done. Okay so what happened to that money. Well it got used in other places. In San Francisco Jeffrey Schaub KPIX5 JUST TODAYAN INTERNAL BUDGET DOCUMENT WHICH SHOWS THAT THE BRIDGE DISTRICT HOPES TO START FUNDING A CABLE PAINTING PROJECT BY 20-18, WITH THE PROJECT POSSIBLY COMPLETED BY 20-22. THAT WOULD BE 85 YEARS SINCE THE BRIDGE OPENED.