Looking at video of the event, it's hard to believe, but Caltrans officials told Bay Area media that no endangered longfin smelt were injured (or worse) in the implosion of a large pier from the old Bay Bridge on November 14. A Caltrans spokesperson told the San Francisco Chronicle that although they are waiting for a full report, it appears all of the three-inch fish came out of the incident unscathed.
Spokeswoman Leah Robinson-Leach told the newspaper that the bubble curtain (a forced air system created to contain the force and debris of the blast) performed as expected. "It did exactly what it was designed to do, which was create a barrier of protection for the fish," Robinson-Leach said.
A complete environmental report is expected. Earlier, Caltrans officials said that if this method was successful, implosions could be used to demolish smaller piers from the old bridge.
· The Big Splash: Slo Mo Video of the Bay Bridge Implosion [Curbed SF]
· Bay Bridge Pier Blast Spared Endangered Smelt [SFGate]
· It's On: Bay Bridge Pier to be Imploded Early Saturday Morning [Curbed SF]