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Bay Bridge Reopens Early!

Video: Presidents' Day Weekend Work

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Photo ©2012 Barrie Rokeach

Photo ©2012 Barrie Rokeach

Photo ©2012 Barrie Rokeach

The four aerial photos above, taken at a mid-point during Presidents Day weekend, show various views of the East Span touchdown area. In the photo directly above, the roadway with the darkest asphalt is the new bypass.
(Photo ©2012 Barrie Rokeach)

Friday evening
Photo ©2012 Caltrans

Saturday morning
Photo ©2012 Caltrans

February 19, 2012
Mother Nature gave the Bay Bridge a boost this holiday weekend, ensuring that skies stayed clear so that crews could wrap up a bypass operation ahead of schedule. The westbound direction -- closed since Friday evening -- opened at 7 pm today, some 34 hours ahead of schedule. Eastbound Bay Bridge traffic was not affected by the closure.

Post-closure, traffic shifted smoothly to a detour that takes cars bound for San Francisco on a new path slightly south of the old approach to the bridge. The detour makes room for construction crews to demolish sections of the existing roadway that are in the path of the yet-to-be-built eastbound touchdown of the new Bay Bridge East Span.

“One of the biggest challenges we have is that we're trying to build the new bridge in some cases in the exact same footprint as the original bridge,” said Caltrans spokesperson Bart Ney during a weekend press conference.

By implementing this detour, along with an eastbound detour that was installed last Memorial Day weekend, the entire new East Span will open to the public earlier than previously scheduled. The detours allow construction crews to work between the existing and new bridges to complete the new eastbound lanes, work which would not possible without the traffic realignment. Without the detours, eastbound traffic would have stayed on the original bridge for about six months after westbound traffic traveled on the new bridge.

The Bay Bridge's westbound upper deck closed Friday night for the detour work, which included realigning and repaving the approach from the toll plaza to the bridge, lane striping and the placement of a guide rail. While the bridge was closed, other work crews spent the weekend inspecting the bridge, doing paving work on Interstate 80 before the toll plaza and making electrical improvements at the toll plaza.

For more information about the eastbound detour, visit