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Plans Set, Drivers Brace For Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary

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Golden Gate Bridge

(Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – With the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge set for Sunday, drivers were being reminded to steer clear of the landmark span that evening, when an all-out fireworks show will cause a one-hour traffic shutdown.

The fireworks show was scheduled for 9:30 p.m. Sunday, and no cars will be allowed across the span between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., bridge district spokeswoman Mary Currie said Thursday.

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That closure was expected to snarl traffic throughout San Francisco as well as in Marin County, Currie said.

“Any time we close the Golden Gate Bridge down, there’s a lot of traffic that’s going to be waiting,” she said. “It’s going to take an hour or two to get moving again” once the bridge reopens.

Bridge district officials were urging motorists to avoid driving in San Francisco at all on Sunday, and to walk, bike or take public transit instead.

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Some of the fireworks will be shot off of the bridge itself, and others will come from a barge in the Bay, said Kary Witt, deputy general manager of the district’s bridge division.

“It’s going to be spectacular. It’s going to be something worth seeing,” Witt said. “A tremendous amount of work has gone into creating what’s a really great show. I don’t want to give away the details, but we’re calling it ‘the big wow’ at the end of the evening.”

The fireworks show will cap off a day of celebrations along San Francisco’s northern waterfront.

The Golden Gate Festival will include various exhibits throughout the Marina, Presidio, at Fort Point, Crissy Field, Marina Green and other locations, according to event organizers.

The bridge’s sidewalks will be closed to pedestrians and bicyclists from 6 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. Sunday. However, between 10:15 p.m. and 1 a.m., the western sidewalk will reopen to bicyclists, and pedestrians will be able to use the eastern sidewalk.

The Presidio will be closed to motorists from 9 a.m. to midnight, Currie said. The Vista Point parking lot on the north end of the bridge will be closed to cars starting at 5 p.m. Motorists already in the parking lot won’t be able to exit during the fireworks show.

For more information about the festival and road closures related to the celebration, visit goldengatebridge75.org.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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