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Bay Bridge

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

Existing SF-Oakland Bay Bridge Rendering of the new East Span of the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge
An engineering marvel, the Bay Bridge opened for traffic in 1936, and currently carries an average of 280,000 vehicles a day. The west span features four suspension towers (left photo, foreground), while the east span (top of left photo) features a cantilever design. Construction of a replacement for the east span officially commenced on January 29, 2002. The contemporary suspension design of the new east span (shown to the right in a nighttime view) will harmonize well with the existing west span as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. (Left photo: Barrie Rokeach; right photo: Caltrans)

In 1989, the powerful Loma Prieta earthquake collapsed a section of the east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Although the bridge was quickly repaired, the event prompted Caltrans to pursue a replacement that would meet current seismic standards. Working closely with MTC, Caltrans undertook an extensive design and public review process. The resulting design is not only striking, but also is uniquely suited to the Bay's challenging geology.

Running from Yerba Buena Island to Oakland, the new structure will feature a self-anchored, single-tower suspension span across the shipping channel, then transition to a graceful skyway. Whereas the current bridge is double-decked, the replacement will feature side-by-side decks, affording drivers panoramic views of the San Francisco skyline and the East Bay hills.

A 15.5-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian path will run along the eastbound deck of the 2-mile long structure.

With its tower that rises 525 feet above the water and asymmetrical profile, the new bridge is destined to become a distinctive landmark for the San Francisco Bay Area.