The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge is a complex of bridges that span the San Francisco Bay in California. It is notable for having one of the longest spans in the United States. It featured in the episode Bound and Buried.
During the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, a section of the eastern span's upper deck collapsed, providing a clue to how long the bridge would remain standing in a Life After People. Despite the violence of the quake, it would take 100 years for even one of the spans to collapse. By 200 years most of the bridge would still remain standing, unlike other suspension bridges like the Golden Gate Bridge, which would have collapsed 100 years earlier.
By 10 million years after people however, any remains of the bridge, like all of San Francisco, would have eroded away. The reason why is that the remains need to be buried away and San Francisco was preached along the San Andreas Fault, which is going upwards.
2 days after people
The bridge, which use to carry around 240,000 vehicles a day, has only dust as traffic. Although it will not cause any problems now, dust will start to cause problems later on.
2 years after people
Near the Bay Bridge is a cargo ship, which is held by eight high strength ropes. They hold the ship loosely, to allow the ship to rise and fall with the tide. 2 years of gale forces have weakened the ropes however, and they can no longer hold the ship and break. The ship crashes into the bridge, causing minor damage to the bridge and sinking the ship.
100 years after people
Although the Golden Gate Bridge would have collapsed by 100 years, the Bay Bridge still stands, as it is in a more hotter and drier climate, which slows rusts. This causes another problem though, as the moisture will cause trees and other vegetation to grow on it. Vegetation clogs up an expansion joint, causing a span to collapse.
200 years after people
Even more debris has been created around the piers. According to Steven S. Ross, it may even almost become an island all by itself.
10 million years after people
No traces of The San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge, like all of San Francisco, remain. The reason is due to remains of buildings needing to be buried to survive. San Francisco is perched along the San Andreas Fault, which marked the boundary of two large tectonic plates. The landscape is going up, which will erode the remains.