Reporting Doug Sovern
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OAKLAND (KCBS)— Bay Area transit planners want to use public money for the estimated $5.6 million opening ceremony of the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge over Labor Day weekend. Caltrans and the Bay Area Toll Authority have a weekend celebration lined up that would include a bridge walk paid for by toll booth funds.
Officials said they envision up to 125,000 people walking across the bridge in addition to a 10K run and a bike ride, also across the Bay Bridge, which will close to cars that same weekend.
“We’re proposing a walk across the entire length of the bridge from Oakland to San Francisco. We think we can accommodate over 100,000 people on that walk,” said Randy Rentschler with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
According to Rentschler, people could take part in the festivities for free.
“We still have some money left over that we haven’t spent on the bridge that was in the budget. When you consider the cost of the bridge, this is a pretty modest sum to get the public out there,” he added.
The cost would have to cover buses to get people to the bridge, portable toilets and the hiring of event, planners Hartmann Studios of Richmond, to run things.
Private donors would pay for some expenses. The Toll Bridge Oversight Committee will hold a public hearing on the plan next Wednesday in Oakland.
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