San Francisco, CA…The New Bay Bridge is now open and traffic is flowing after being closed over the Labor Day Weekend. Caltrans sent out a notification earlier that it was to open between 9 and 10pm. We tried a couple of different locations on the bridge to see it traffic was flowing yet and it still looked empty. Then we tried the metering lights cam and just after it fired up the lead wave of CHP Officers leading the first cars across passed the camera. It was flowing traffic again about 10:16pm. Details on what was done and remains to do is enclosed…
This Labor Day weekend, the Bay Bridge will be closed to take the original East Span out of service and to open the new East Span to traffic. Work will be done at the east (Oakland Touchdown) and west (Yerba Buena Island Transition Structure) ends of the new bridge to connect it to the existing Toll Plaza and Yerba Buena Island, respectively. Crews will also perform essential construction activities, including paving, striping and erecting barrier rail. Throughout the closure, maintenance will work on the West Span, replacing lighting fixtures, cleaning and painting the cable, and repairing finger joints.
While the Bay Bridge was closed during Labor Day weekends in 2006, 2007 and 2009, essential construction work was successfully completed on schedule. Taking advantage of historically light traffic on the bridge during the holiday weekend helps minimize disruptions to motorists, residents and businesses. Experience gained from previous closures will help us perform this construction safely again this year.
This closure marks the final step before the new bridge opens to traffic. Since 1936, the original East Span has facilitated the movement of people and goods throughout the Bay Area. The 7.1-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989 significantly damaged the region’s transportation structures and exposed the vulnerability of the existing East Span. Since that day, the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee has worked diligently to replace the original bridge and move everyone onto a safer structure. Following the safe rerouting of traffic to the new East Span, the original East Span will be demolished; that process will take approximately three years.