A cross-section of a suspension cable shows how it is made up of bundles of individual cables. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez
As state lawmakers contemplate an independent inspection of the new Bay Bridge tower foundation, construction crews are beginning what might be called the Big Lift — a major step in building the $6.3 billion east span, scheduled to open by Labor Day 2013.
Workers on Tuesday began the three-month process of lifting the 35,200-ton bridge decks from the temporary steel trestles on which they were assembled onto the tower and main suspension cable that will cradle and support the suspension span. As they started work, a state Senate committee grilled Caltrans over media allegations of irregularities in concrete inspections for the tower’s foundations…