Bay Bridge reopens ahead of schedule
September 3, 2007 5:36 PM
The Bay Bridge maintenance work that began on Friday, August 31 at 8 p.m. was completed 11 hours ahead of schedule. The bridge, slated to reopen tomorrow morning, reopened at 6 p.m. this evening instead.
The Labor Day weekend retrofit project improved bridge safety and increased the number of FasTrak lanes at the toll plaza, which is expected to steady the flow of traffic at the bridge entrance and encourage the use of electronic toll, according to project descriptions by the Bay Bridge Public Information Office.
After closing the bridge, 350-foot of roadway on the east span was demolished. New supportive tracks were installed and then new roadway was rolled into place with a computer-controlled hydraulic system, as described by the Bay Bridge Public Information Office.
People needing to drive during the closure could access the Golden Gate Bridge and San Mateo Bridge, which were the closest entry points in and out of San Francisco.
“Sunday was the busier day of the weekend,” said Golden Gate Bridge Sgt. Robert Gelardi. “Northbound was steady, but Southbound was busier and traffic backed up near Vista Point.”
CHP assisted in periodically shutting down Vista Point, for an hour-long interval, to reestablish a steady flow of traffic.
Weeks before the bridge closure, electronic signs alerted drivers statewide of the bridge closure. Bus, ferry, and BART services were extended to handle congestion. Treasure Island residents were issued passes by CalTrans, which allowed access the island via the west span of the bridge.
BART averages 210,000 riders on Saturdays and 130,000 on Sundays. With the construction, Linton Johnson, chief spokesperson for BART, expected a 20 percent rider increase during the holiday weekend. Trains ran on an hourly schedule after midnight.
Yevgeniy Sverdlik contributed to this report.
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