SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The countdown is on for this weekend’s unprecedented 52 hour-long closure of the Golden Gate Bridge. Reporters were invited to the iconic bridge’s toll plaza for an up-close “zipper truck” preview.
The two Road Zipper vehicles will be responsible for bringing the new moveable median barrier onto the bridge. The equipment arrived over the weekend and is parked behind the toll plaza building.
Golden Gate Bridge Highway & Transportation District Manager Kerry Wit explained how the trucks will move the 3,000 concrete and steel units that make up the barrier between lanes.
“There are two operators in the machine; one in the front end who is responsible for picking up the barrier and driving the machine itself in a straight line. The person in the back is actually steering the back wheels to precisely place the barrier where it needs to be,” he said.
Each barrier unit weighs 1,500 pounds and will be connected with steel pins.
“It is a very important step for us,” said Eva Bauer, the chief engineer for the bridge district. “It will change our operations. With the moveable median barrier in place, it will minimize the possibility of a head-on collision.”
The $30 million barrier system replaces the plastic tubular pylons that have been in use since 1962.
The Golden Gate Bridge is set to close a minute after midnight on Saturday, January 10th through 4 a.m. on Monday.