SAN MATEO (BCN) — A westbound lane on the San Mateo Bridge will remain closed until Sunday after Caltrans officials decided Friday to add an additional reinforcement plate beneath the bridge after a crack was discovered during an inspection Wednesday, a spokesman said.

The crack was found in a steel girder on the underside of the bridge that is part of a system that allows the structure to move back and forth during an earthquake, Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus said.

The girder was installed as part of a seismic retrofit completed in 2001. The far right westbound lane has been closed while crews install steel reinforcement plates on the damaged girder to make it even stronger than it was originally, Haus said.

Four plates were originally planned to be installed, but officials decided to add at least one more, setting back the time the lane is expected to reopen, he said.

Haus said one issue is the football game scheduled for 1:05 p.m. Sunday at Candlestick Park between the Bay Area’s two pro football teams, the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders.

The traffic expected because of the game would be even worse without all the lanes open, so “we’re going to make every effort to be done before the game starts,” he said.

During the closure, drivers are advised to take alternate routes, such as the Dumbarton Bridge or the Bay Bridge.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)


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