Bay Area Preps for Yet Another Transbay Closure

This time it's not BART that's closing down. In fact, BART will be running 24-hour service after the Bay Bridge shuts down Wednesday at 8 pm for five days in preparation for the opening of the long-awaited, new eastern span on September 3 at 5 am.

Jessica Kwong writes that this isn't the first time that the Bay Bridge has closed for the Labor Day weekend in order to do work on the new eastern span:

The bridge, which accommodates nearly 300,000 motorists daily, closed for construction the same holiday weekend in 2009, 2007 and 2006.

The lede by the Contra Costa Times' Lisa Vorderbrueggen may explain how many Bay Area residents feel as opening day draws near. She also answers "some of the most asked questions" about the closure.

Finally. After 16 years of political bellyaching, 11 years of construction and $6.4 billion taxpayer dollars, the new Bay Bridge is set to open at dawn on the first day back to work following the Labor Day weekend.

While AC Transit's Transbay service provided a crucial option for commuters during the four and one-half day BART strike commencing July 1, their Bay Bridge service will be restricted to feeding four East Bay BART stations where riders can access "round-the-clock" BART service beginning Wednesday night. One constant, though, will be supplemental service provided by San Francisco Bay Ferry.

Kwong writes that on Wednesday night, "workers will begin demolishing the westbound approach (from Oakland to the new span) to make room for the temporary connector to the bike and pedestrian path". Yes, the new span will accommodate cyclists and pedestrians - for the first time. However, even if the temporary connector is completed by Sept. 3, where will cyclists bike to? 

Justin Berton of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote on August 22 that while the bridge bike path won't "go all the way to San Francisco - and it won't even reach Yerba Buena Island for another two years...bicyclists are still gearing up to cruise the Bay Bridge's new bike path on opening day." Indeed, the East Bay Bike Coalition will lead a "ride out on to the world’s longest bike pier" on opening day at 6 p.m. 

Full Story: Bay Bridge closure not expected to devastate regional commute

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