New SF-Oakland Bay Bridge handles first rush hour

Span replaces structure that was damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake
Associated Press
Sep 3, 2013


New bridge, same traffic.

The gleaming white and newly built $6.4 billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge handled its first morning commute Tuesday with few problems other than the traffic snarls that were common around the old span.

California Highway Patrol Officer Sam Morgan said traffic heading into San Francisco on the bridge around noon was a little heavier than usual, possibly because of excitement about the new bridge.

"Some are making it a recreational event," Morgan said.

Officers have not encountered any instances of people pulling over on the roadway to take pictures of the span, Morgan said.

But Officer Daniel Hill told San Jose-based KNTV-TV that some drivers were warned or cited for taking photos and cell phone video while driving. He did not have exact numbers.

One person also received a warning for driving and taking pictures on the closed section of the old bridge, Morgan said.

"While everybody is excited about the new bridge, please remember it is still a roadway designed to get you from Point A to Point B," Morgan warned.

The new, self-anchored suspension span with its single looming white tower opened Monday night, hours after a low-key inaugural chain-cutting ceremony and after years of delays and cost overruns.

It replaces a structure that was damaged during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, which struck as millions tuned in to watch Game 3 of the "Bay Bridge World Series" between the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. The replacement span is designed to withstand the strongest earthquake estimated by seismologists to occur at the site over a 1,500-year period.

Meanwhile, the new bridge's bike and pedestrian path opened Tuesday, although it does not yet run the full length of the new span.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan predicted the path itself would become a local attraction.

"Just enjoying that will become an experience that people all over the Bay Area, and probably all over the world, are going to want to have," she said during remarks at the opening.




Congratulation CA! It only took 24 yrs. And $6.4 billion to fix 1/3 of the Bay Bridge. Good thing there were no overruns...

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I can imagine an Onion headline reading, "California celebrates bridge after 24 years of construction, swears it will be different for light rail project".


Meh. They've already started building. In the middle of nowhere. And they're already calling for more money for engineering (0ver $800 million). This will end well.....

JudgeMeNot's picture

What do you expect when you have to pay federal wages to union employees.

2cents's picture

LMAO America:

Next month, the last four of more than two dozen giant steel modules —each with a roadbed segment about half the size of a football field — will be loaded onto a huge ship and transported 6,500 miles to Oakland. There, they will be assembled to fit into the eastern span of the new Bay Bridge.