SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) People who cross the Golden Gate Bridge each day are noticing that it is taking longer to cross the span most afternoons.

And while traffic backups are nothing new for the bridge, this summer has been especially difficult for commuters.

Bridge officials said the morning drive has been fairly predictable, but the afternoon is a far different story.

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“The afternoon commute, for whatever reason, is much more unpredictable, more chaotic in general with a lot more wild card factors,” said Golden Gate Bridge District spokesperson Mary Currie.

She said the slowdowns have been especially noticeable this month.[pullquote quote=”The afternoon commute…. is much more unpredictable, more chaotic in general. ” credit=”Golden Gate Bridge District spokesperson Mary Currie”]

“The tourists are coming north out of San Francisco. They’re not familiar with the Doyle Drive reconstruction project,” said Currie. “They’re not familiar with where to exit at the Golden Gate Bridge on the south side. They’re following detour signs that may or may not make sense so they’re slowing down or getting lost.”

On many afternoons, the lane configuration will be set at three per direction.

Currie said once there’s a backup, the lanes can be reconfigured. But that’s a process that can take an hour and often leads to problems in the opposite direction.

Currie said many of the bottlenecks are happening before the span and the bridge itself can handle the traffic load.