(Bloomberg) In their haste to finish the $6.4 billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, California officials ordered engineers to overlook cracked welds and other flaws and to avoid documenting problems, two former workers told a state Senate committee yesterday.

“There was tremendous pressure not to stop during the procedure because of the race for time,” said Douglas Coe, a 25-year veteran of the California Department of Transportation, known as Caltrans, who was removed from the project in November 2009.

The eastern section of the bridge, which carries 270,000 vehicles each weekday, partly collapsed in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. By the time it reopened in September, it was California’s most expensive public-works project ever, running almost $5 billion over budget and more than six years behind schedule.

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