Our New $6.4B Bridge

Bay Bridge opens early, pleases crowds

by Brian Leubitz

By yesterday afternoon, my Facebook feed was dominated by questions of when the Bay Bridge would reopen. And when it finally did, around 10pm last night, it was full of videos showing the new span as cars started rolling on.

At 10:15 p.m. Monday, Caltrans and the California Highway Patrol took down barricades at on-ramps and interchanges and let traffic flow to the bridge for the first time since Wednesday night, when it was closed to allow construction crews to make the transition from the old east span to the $6.4 billion new span.

The bridge had been scheduled to open at 5 a.m. Tuesday. But construction went smoothly, and Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty announced at the dedication ceremony that it would open Monday night. (SF Chronicle)

It has been about 24 years since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that pushed the need for this new structure, and the design process took much of that time. Since the actual structure has gone up, the work has been fairly quick. While delays were expected because of faulty bolts, some on-the-fly engineering work was able to speed the process up. The fact remains that even with the awkward “shims” supporting the questionable bolts, the new bridge is still safer than most of the other major bridges in the nation.

From a broader perspective, it is truly a beautiful structure. The massive tower stands as a signal that we can still accomplish big things as a state.

2 thoughts on “Our New $6.4B Bridge”

  1. It’s beautiful and useful

    I’ll gladly pay my part for it

    But, I DON’T want it named after Willier Brown !!

    He and Jerry Brown delayed construction and increased costs

    Name bridges after DEAD politicians, not living ones

    Better yet, let the bridge keep it’s current name

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