Caltrans workers conducted an emergency repair early this morning on a damaged joint on the Bay Bridge’s eastern span, a spokesman said today.

Crews were performing maintenance on the bridge at about 4 a.m. when they noticed a damaged joint in an outer lane, Caltrans spokesman Bart Ney said.

They quickly adjusted lane closures to work on the joint, located on the bridge’s incline, and completed repairs by 6 a.m., he said.

The problem with the joint, one of many that connect sections of the bridge’s deck, is unrelated to the ongoing eyebar issues that have plagued the bridge since Labor Day weekend, Ney said.

That was the weekend workers discovered a crack in an eyebar during a planned bridge closure. The discovery slightly delayed the reopening of the span.

On Oct. 27, vibrations created in part by strong winds caused the repair to fail during the evening rush hour, forcing a weeklong closure for additional repairs. Crews were performing ongoing repair and maintenance work at that spot today when they noticed the joint problem, Ney said.

He said the morning’s chill may have contributed to the joint problem, since metal contracts in cold temperatures.

“The expansion and contraction happens right at those joints,” he said.

The damaged joint is one of six that Caltrans plans to replace in January, Ney said. The replacement is part of an ongoing maintenance plan and has nothing to do with eyebar repairs planned for after the New Year, he said.

“The bridge has a lot of different maintenance issues,” he said.

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