Muehlhan Certified Coatings at the New Oakland Bay Bridge

David Brockman stands near the top of the new Bay Bridge tower and drinks his coffee in a view of world- and locally famous landmarks from a dizzying perspective. The San Francisco skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Mount Tamalpais and Treasure Island are a sampling of the scenic stars visible from this perch some 464 feet above San Francisco Bay. This is a construction site that could sell admission tickets.

“There’s one thing with our work — you get to be in some pretty neat places sometimes,” said Brockman, who is chief executive officer for Fairfield-based Certified Coatings.

Certified Coatings through the years has done such things as paint the Space Needle in Seattle and the Lions Gate bridge in Vancouver. Now it has a painting project for the self-anchored suspension segment of the new eastern Bay Bridge span between Oakland and Yerba Buena Island.

Most of the steel parts come pre-painted white from China. Still, some parts can be painted only after assembly or have to be repainted. Certified Coatings is overseeing the painting of weld spots, the cable and the bridge deck suspension system.

James Brockman, David Brockman’s brother, is working on the project for Certified Coatings. He views the birth of this suspension bridge taking place before his eyes as something special, even compared to other jobs in the Certified Coatings resumé.

“We do some amazing projects, but this has to be the most amazing I’ve seen,” James Brockman said.

The Bay Bridge renovation got its impetus from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, when a top segment of the double-deck eastern span fell onto the lower segment. The state Department of Transportation looked for ways to strengthen the bridge. This included seismically retrofitting the western span near San Francisco and rebuilding the eastern span.

Overall, the Bay Bridge seismic project will cost an estimated $6.3 billion.