“The Bridge So Far — A Suspense Story” is an entertaining one-hour documentary on the often outrageous and always controversial history and status of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Tragic, frustrating, comical, and historic, this entertaining documentary/news special follows the Bridge from its original construction through the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake up to the present day. It recounts the progress, delays, setbacks, and politics during the design and construction of a new, safe bridge to re-complete the connection across the Bay between San Francisco and Oakland.
This was much more than a huge design and construction project. It was local, regional, state, and even federal politics; dollars and delays; finances and finger pointing; the U.S. Navy vs. Caltrans; northern vs. southern alignments; skyway vs. suspension bridge, with a bikeway; conceptual changes during construction; and monumental cost increases caused by such far-flung factors as the upcoming Olympics in China.
In other words, it was a doozy of a story, just waiting to be told even while chapters were being added.
Award winning filmmaker David Brown filmed and produced the entertaining story with all the drama, comedy, optimism, dashed hopes, and plot reversals that can only happen in real life. Sponsored by the Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG), Brown filmed the story from the air, from the water, on land, with computerized animation and perspectives, archival footage, original music, and two dozen interviews with key players including former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, State Senator Tom Torlakson, Caltrans Director Will Kempton, former MTC Member Mary King, newspaper reporters Lisa Vorderbrueggen and Sean Holstege, Bay Area satirist Will Durst, bridge builder C.C. Myers, a seismologist, a White House lawyer, and many of the engineers and architects who actually worked on the new bridge.
In the end, it’s a story about rebuilding after a disaster, getting the job done despite delays and wrong turns, and ultimately the very human process of using steel and concrete to make a dream a reality.
“The Bridge So Far — A Suspense Story” was sponsored by the Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG).
Producer David Brown can be reached at (415) 468-7469.