SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Caltrans officials have decided to suspend a big construction project on the Bay Bridge after metal plates used to secure the area caused major traffic issues on the span last week.

Caltrans crews were in the process of replacing a number of aging expansion joints on the western section of the bridge after cracks were discovered during a recent inspection.   The plates, about an inch and a half thick, were used to cover the work zones during commute hours.

The problem was that motorists would drive over the first plate, and slow down significantly as they approached the second plate.   That cause major traffic tie ups during the Friday morning commute.

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Caltrans officials said at the time that they were planning to increase the scope of their public awareness campaign.  They also said that drivers would eventually get used to the uneven pavement.

KCBS learned Sunday that Caltrans is taking an entirely different approach.  The project, itself, is being put on hold and the plates have since been removed.  We’re told that Caltrans engineers will be huddling over the next couple of days to figure out a different approach to the joint replacement project that has less of an impact on traffic congestion.

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