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OAKLAND (CBS SF) – A ramp that connects Oakland to the bike lanes on the new Bay Bridge that cost more than $9 million will be torn down after less than seven months in use.
The half-mile connector will be replaced, now that a section of the old eastern span has been removed, clearing the way for a permanent connector.
At a cost of $9.4 million, The San Francisco Chronicle reports that temporary connector cost $47,000 for each day it was in operation. That would mean the ramp cost more than $15 per-person for the estimated 3,000 that crossed the span on the day it opened.
Here is a look at our 2013 report on the construction of the temporary path:
“The thought was that the bike path is an integral part of the design of the new bridge and there was high demand for this,” Andrew Gordon of Caltrans told KPIX 5.
Randy Rentschler of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission said, “This is the thing we had to do in order to open it for everybody. We knew it would cost money. We knew it was temporary. It was really just about making it open for everyone. It was about doing it all at one time.”
When asked if there was pressure to have the bike path to open along with the bridge, Rentschler said, “The original plan for the Bay Bridge did not have the bike path there. The bike advocates and others thought it was the right thing to do. So that continuity, let’s open the bike path when we open up the Bay Bridge at the same time, that was really the reason for it.”
Officials said they hope the materials for the temporary path can be re-used in some form.
Gordon said, “That we are hopeful is going to be given to either the East Bay Regional Park District or perhaps the state parks.”
The new path is due open at the end of the month, weather permitting. Once completed, the new connector still won’t allow cyclists all the way to Yerba Buena Island. The final piece on that end of the path isn’t expected to be completed until 2015.