San Francisco Bay development team launches investigation on Google barge project

December 5
5:13 AM 2013

The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission has begun an official probe regarding the construction of the secret barge by Google Inc near Treasure Island. The city's bay development team executive director Larry Goldzband said the probe, which started last week, will be reviewing the permits required to build the barge and determine whether owners of the pier on Treasure Island have complied with the necessary paperwork. The barge is currently moored on Treasure Island.

Goldzband told Reuters on Wednesday, "We want to make sure that the permits that are used by the owners of the pier actually allowed for construction to happen."

In a recent meeting, officials of the tech giant told Goldzband that the company was in the process of making some changes to the design of the barge in accordance to the request of the US Coast Guard. Coast Guard commander Jason Tama told the news agency that he is not at liberty to provide comment on any specific cases, but had emphasized that it is the Coast Guard's standard practice to inspect any new construction in order to ensure that the construction has complied with safety, security and environmental protection regulations. Tama added that any construction changes suggested by the Coast Guard are commonly done.

When Reuters asked Google regarding the report, the company had not return the news agency's request to provide one.

Google's secret barge was, according to earlier reports since October, a four-storey, steel shipping container pile. Although the tech company remained mum on the project and its purpose, documents that were filed to the Port of San Francisco back in August described the purpose of the construction as an exhibition space for technology. On Monday, a San Francisco Chronicle report cited documents Google had submitted to barge builder Turner Construction Co that the barge is a floating retail store.

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