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Bay Bridge closing for Labor Day weekend

Submitted by on 1, August 31, 2009 – 5:45 amOne Comment

Here's a cool 2006 photo of work on the new Bay Bridge from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission website.

Thinking about driving into San Francisco during the long Labor Day weekend? Well, get ready to put a few extra miles on the odometer.

In what’s becoming an almost annual rite of passage, Caltrans is shutting down the Bay Bridge this coming Labor Day weekend to perform seismic work. So your options are to take the ferry (which will have expanded service this weekend), BART (which will have longer trains and additional overnight service – and check out AC Transit’s plan to divert buses to four East Bay BART stations) or head to another bridge.

The Bay Bridge closes at 8 p.m. this Thursday, September 3 so that work crews can cut and remove a 300-foot, double-deck section of the bridge’s East Span and replace it with a detour that will operate as a connection from the Yerba Buena Island tunnel to the East Span until the new span is completed, at the tail end of 2013.

Apparently the whole deal will be done 150 feet in the air, which should make for some interesting pictures. Unfortunately, the new detour will slow traffic to 40 m.p.h. from the 50 m.p.h. we’re supposed to be driving now.

Caltrans has previously shut the bridge for seismic work in 2006 and 2007.

You can get the 411 on the construction job (along with a nifty countdown clock and simulations of the new drive) here; and if you need help planning your travel in and out of San Francisco and beyond, 511 is a good resource.

And while we’re talking road work, get ready for closure of a portion of Wilver “Willie” Stargell Avenue, perhaps as soon as today. Contractor Top Grade Construction is doing excavation, pavement placement, gutter and curb construction, striping, installation of electrical equipment and foundations for street lights, miscellaneous irrigation work, and installation of a temporary driveway at East Campus Drive, according to the city’s website.

The work will be done on Stargell west of East Campus Drive and east of Fifth Street. The road will be closed through November 6 (though businesses will have 24-hour access to their sites and there will be uninterrupted access to the College of Alameda).

For more information, call City Engineer Barbara Hawkins at 749-5840.

One Comment »

  • Jon Spangler says:

    Since we regularly attend St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal Church on Potrero Hill in San Francisco (www.saintgregorys.org), we have been closely following the progress of both the new eastern span (with its welcome bike-ped path) and the retrofitting of the western anchorage. The engineering complexities remind me somewhat of building a model of a sailing ship inside a bottle, with existing buildings, trees, hillsides, etc., sometimes only a few inches away from huge construction operations…

    The last time the Bay Bridge was shut down we took the San Mateo-Hayward bridge and were pleasantly surprised that the longer route only added about 15 minutes to our Sunday driving time at around 9 AM. Traffic was much more affected on Friday and Saturday, as I recall, and clogged up again Sunday afternoon, but getting to church was far easier than we had feared it would be….

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