Bay Bridge Closure
At long last, the new, $6.4 billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge opened to traffic Monday evening.
Construction work is proceeding as planned on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge and BART ridership swelled to its second-highest Saturday ever as the agency increased weekend trains to accommodate the bridge closure.
Transportation officials say work to open the new Bay Bridge eastern span was progressing just as it should, as crews have been working nonstop since the last cars passed through the toll plaza Wednesday.
After what was a challenging Thursday for many in the region, struggling to get to and from work, errands and other obligations without the benefit of the Bay Bridge, plenty of people opted for a Friday off, leaving the roads, ferry terminals and BART platforms especially “Friday light.”
With the new eastern span set to open by early Tuesday morning, Caltrans is now focusing on demolishing the old span, a process that will take about three years and cost about $240 million.
Officials say there were no problems during the first hours of construction to put finishing touches on the new eastern portion of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
BART ridership rose noticeably because of the Bay Bridge closure Wednesday night to allow crews to transition traffic onto the bridge’s new eastern span, a BART spokesman said Thursday morning.
Many of San Francisco’s first responders including police, fire, and other emergency personnel live in the East Bay. So what would the city do if disaster were to strike while the Bay Bridge is closed?
The five day closure of the Bay Bridge is set to start on Wednesday night at 8:00 p.m., but the California Highway Patrol is warning drivers who want to cross the span not to wait until the last minute.
Bay Area transit agencies said Tuesday that they will beef up service while the Bay Bridge is closed over Labor Day weekend but also said people should be prepared and research all their travel options during the closure.