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Toll Authority Committee Approves $5.6M For New Bay Bridge Celebration

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Eastbound Lanes of New Bay Bridge

A computer rendering shows the eastbound lanes of the new Bay Bridge. (CBS)

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OAKLAND (KCBS) — The Bay Area Toll Authority Oversight Committee approved $5.6 million to coordinate transportation, operations and public safety for the new Bay Bridge opening celebration to be held over Labor Day Weekend. The plan now goes to the entire Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) board for approval.

At Wednesday’s meeting it became apparent that millions of dollars in toll funds would be used to pay for what is shaping up to be a well-attended and expensive affair.

“We’re late trying to raise private funds. I think, in a perfect world, we may have had this recommendation to you six months ago. But it was important that we worked through the governor’s office to get them comfortable,” said Randy Rentschler with the MTC.

The plans include coordinating a 10k and half marathon, a bike ride, as well as a dedication ceremony with the mayors of Oakland and San Francisco, who will meet mid-span.

Mark Guelfi with Hartmann Studios, which has planned events like Oracle World and the SF Giants World Series victory parade, will likely be the sole contractor.

Complete Coverage: The New Bay Bridge

“We need to create a ticketed event. We need to know exactly how many people are coming and when they’re coming,” he said.

Guelfi said people will be bussed from 60 loading areas in Oakland for a walk on the bridge on Monday.

“We’ll be unloading about 300 buses an hour,” he said.

A massive fireworks show slated for Sunday night will be privately funded.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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