Man wants to upcycle Bay Bridge into house


Though it’ll likely take another seven years to be demolished, many Bay Area residents are already sentimental about the old Bay Bridge’s departure.

One such person is Brisbane’s David Grieshaber, a 44-year-old engineer who hopes to snag a piece of the Bay Bridge for himself — and preserve it for the rest of us.

While some debris will probably be saved for Oakland’s Gateway Park and museum display, Grieshaber has better plans: he wants to build the most modern, eco-conscious house in the world.

He told the SF Examiner:

“…[We] should be doing something different. Combining the eco-house idea and the bridge seemed like a logical step to change the way we think in the Bay Area.”

His proposal, launched at, proposes using less than 200 feet of the 10,176-foot-long span to construct a contemporary, self-sustaining house and multi-use space.

The four-story home would feature a loft bedroom, green roof with solar panels and fiber optic lighting. The bottom floor could be the bridge’s roadway — with lane lines preserved — and the bridge’s sides could make the house walls, said Grieshaber.

According to Grieshaber, he wants to collaborate with the Bay Area’s green tech companies to help deck out this house of the future.

He’s volunteered to live in the Bay Bridge house with his wife and two cats, and oversee the multi-use building that could be turned into a bed and breakfast for the public.

Experts, though, point out a possible roadblock in Grieshaber’s plan.

According to Caltrans bridge engineer Mike Whiteside, the bridge has coats of lead paint and asbestos that must be stripped.

Bay Bridge Project spokesperson Andrew Gordon said he’s sure bridge parts contain hazardous material:

“It’s one thing to drive over it; it’s another thing to live on it.”

Grieshaber recently sent his proposal to architects and officials overseeing the Bay Bridge project, but said he’s still waiting on responses:

“Unfortunately, it seems like everyone is either working on the Bay Bridge project and is in a frantic mess right now, or is at Burning Man.”

According to the project website, details of a Bay Bridge House Design Contest will be coming shortly.

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